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VOL. 9 




Group I. 

Foundations of the Nation 

Vol. I European Background of American 
History, by Edward Potts Chey- 
ney, A.M., Prof. Hist. Univ. of Pa. 

*' 3 Basis of American History, by 
Livingston Farrand, M.D., Prof. 
Anthropology Columbia Univ. 

** 3 Spain in Ameri ca, by Edward Gay- 
lord Bourne, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Yale Univ. 

" 4 England in America, by Lyon Gar- 
diner Tyler, LL.D., President 
William and Mary College. 

** 5 Colonial Self - Government, by 
Charles McLean Andrews, Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Johns Hopkins Univ. 

Group II. 

Transformation into a Nation 

Vol. 6 Provincial America, by Evarts 
Boutell Greene, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, 
and Dean of College, Univ. of 111. 
" 7 France in America, by Reuben 
Gold Thwaites, LL.D., Sec. Wis- 
consin State Hist. Soc. 

Vol. 8 Preliminaries of the Revolution, 
by George Elliott Howard, Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Univ. of Nebraska. 

" 9 The American Revolution, by- 
Claude Halstead VanT3me,Ph.D., 
Prof. Hist. Univ. of Michigan. 

" ID The Confederation and the Consti- 
tution, by Andrew Cunningham 
McLaughlin, A.M., Head Prof. 
Hist. Univ. of Chicago. 

Group III, 

Development op the Nation 

Vol. II The Federalist System, by John 
Spencer Bassett, Ph.D., Prof. 
Am. Hist. Smith College. 

** 12 The JefEersonian System, by Ed- 
ward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Harvard Univ. 

*• 13 Rise of American Nationality, by 
Kendric Charles Babcock, Ph.D., 
Pres. Univ. of Arizona. 

** 14 Rise of the New West, by Freder- 
ick Jackson Turner, Ph.D., Prof. 
Am. Hist, Univ. of Wisconsin. 

** 15 Jacksonian Democracy, by Will- 
iam MacDonald, LL.D., Prof. 
Hist. Brown Univ. 

Group IV. 

Trial op Nationality 

Vol. 16 Slavery and Abolition, by Albert 
Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Prof. Hist. 
Harvard Univ. 

Vol. 17 Westward Extension, by George 
Pierce Garrison, Ph.D., Prof. 
Hist. Univ. of Texas. 

" 18 Parties and Slavery, by Theodore 
Clarke Smith, Ph.D., Prof. Am. 
Hist. Williams College. 

" 19 Causes of the Civil War, by Admiral 
French Ensor Chad wick, U.S.N. , 
recent Pres. of Naval War Col. 

" 20 The Appeal to Arms, by James 
Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., recent 
Librarian Minneapolis Pub, Lib. 

" 21 Outcome of the Civil War, by 
James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., re- 
cent Lib. Minneapolis Pub. Lib. 

Group V. 

National Expansion 
Vol. 22 Reconstruction, Political and Eco- 
nomic, by William Archibald Dun- 
ning, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, and Politi- 
cal Philosophy Columbia Univ. 

23 National Development, by Edwin 
Erie Sparks, Ph.D., Prof. Hist. 
Univ. of Chicago. 

24 National Problems, by Davis R. 
Dewey, Ph.D., Prof essor of Eco- 
nomics, Mass. Inst, of Technology. 

25 America the World Power, by 
John H. Latane, Ph.D., Prof. 
Hist. Washington and Lee Univ. 

26 Ideals of American Government, 
by Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D., 
Prof. Hist. Harvard Univ. 

27 Index to the Series, by David 
Mavdole Matteson, A.M. 


The Massachusetts Historical Society 

Charles Francis Adams, LL.D., President 
Samuel A. Green, M.D., Vice-President 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D., 2d Vice-President 
Edward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. History Harvard 

Worthington C. Ford, Chief of Division of MSS. 

Library of Congress 

The Wisconsin Historical Society 

Reuben G. Thwaites, LL.D., Secretary and Super- 

Frederick J. Turner, Ph.D., Prof, of American His- 
tory Wisconsin University 

James D. Butler, LL.D., formerly Prof. Wisconsin 

WiUiam W. Wight, President 

Henry E. Legler, Curator 

The Virginia Historical Society 

William Gordon McCabe, Litt.D., President 

Lyon G. Tyler, LL.D., Pres. of William and Mary 

Judge David C. Richardson 
J. A. C. Chandler, Professor Richmond College 
Edward Wilson James 

The Texas Historical Society 

Judge John Henninger Reagan, President 
George P. Garrison, Ph.D., Prof, of History Uni- 
versity of Texas 
Judge C. W. Raines 
Judge Zachary T. Fullmore 

> . ^ 





1 776-1 783 






Copyright, 190S, by Harper & Brothers. 






Editor's Introduction xiii 

Author's Preface xvii 

I. Fundamental and Immediate Causes (1763- 

1775) 3 

II. Outbreak op War (1775) 25 

III. Organization of an Army (1775-1776) . . 37 

IV. Spirit of Independence (1775-1776) ... 50 

V. The Campaign for Independence (i 775-1 776) 66 

VI. New York Accepts the Revolution (1776) 8S 

VII. Contest for New York City (1776) . . . 102 

VIII. From the Hudson to the Delaware (1776) 116 

IX. Framing New State Governments (1776- 

1780) 136 

X. Campaigns of Burgoyne and Howe (1777) 157 

XI. State Sovereignty and Confederation (1775- 

1777) 17s 

xii. French Aid and French Alliance (1775- 

1778) 203 

xiii. The Turn in the Tide in England and 

America (1778) 227 

XIV. Civil War between Whigs and Tories (1777- 

1780) 248 

XV. The New West (1763-1780) 269 





XVI. French Aid and American Reverses (1778- 

1780) 289 

XVII. European Complications and the End of 

THE War (1779-1781) 309 

xviii. Critical Essay on Authorities 334 

Index 357 


Seat of War in the Eastern and Middle 

States (177 5-1 780) {in colors) .... facing 26 

Accessions to the Principle of Indepen- 
dence before July 2 {in colors) ... ** 68 

Division of Europe as to War with Eng- 
land (1778-1782) " 228 

Estimated Degree of Severity of Legis- 
lation against the Loyalists ... ** 250 

The West (1775-1782) " 270 

New Settlements and Proposed Communi- 
ties IN THE West (1775-1782) {in colors) " 278 

Seat of War in the Southern States 

(iTjS-iy Si) {in colors) " 290 


NO more difficult task can be found in the 
twenty -six volumes of The American Nation 
than to write a fresh and original accoimt of the 
Revolution. In order to clear the way, the begin- 
nings of that struggle have been treated in a sepa- 
rate volume, Howard's Preliminaries of the Revolution 
(vol. VIII.), and this volume stops practically with 
the end of the Revolutionary War, leaving the peace 
negotiations to McLaughlin's Confederation and Con- 
stitution (vol. X.). By thus taking up the story 
substantially at the battle of Lexington and Con- 
cord, and closing with the capture of Cornwallis 
in 1 781, it becomes physically possible to describe 
the Revolution in one volume. 

In organizing his material the author has rec- 
ognized the parallel claims of the civil and the 
military struggle, and has ingeniously interwoven 
the two things. The first chapter on fundamental 
and immediate causes is a brief review of the 
period covered by the previous volume. Then 
follow two chapters on the outbreak of war and 
the organization of the army. The next chapters (iv. 
to vi.) are given up to a study of independence in 



its development and acceptance, in which the author 
makes clear his convictions as to the historical 
origin of the sovereignty of the states and its rela- 
tion to the general revolutionary government of the 

After independence come two chapters describ- 
ing the campaign of 1776, from Long Island to the 
Delaware. Chapter ix. is wholly devoted to the 
new state governments of this period. Chapter x. 
is on the campaigns of 1777. Chapter xi. returns 
to the civil side in describing the creation of the 
Confederation. Chapters xii. and xiii. are on the 
French treaty and the campaigns of 1778. This 
seems to be a convenient place for a chapter (xiv.) 
on the Tories. In chapter xv. the growth of 
the West during the Revolution is traced; it fits 
closely with chapter xiii. of Howard's Preliminaries 
of the Revolution, and chapters vii. and viii. of Mc- 
Laughlin's Confederation and Constitution. Chapters 
xvi. and xvii. resume the military operations and 
carry them to the end of the hostilities. 

No writer in the series has had such a jiiass of 
literature to explore and select, and the Critical 
Essay on Authorities will be found a very con- 
venient simimary of the best of that literature. 

The fundamental thought of this volume is that 
the Revolution was a close struggle, in which the 
Americans suffered from inexperience and from the 
difficulty of securing common action, and the 
British from ineptitude; that to a large degree it 


was also a civil war, in which the Tories in actual 
numbers were not far inferior to the patriots; that 
it was further a remarkable school of political science 
from which emerged trained statesmen, vigorous 
state governments, and a weak and ineffectual na- 
tional government. The point of view of the author 
as to the relative origins of the states and the nation 
is his own ; it is no part of the scheme of the series 
to adjust the conclusions of the individual writers 
to the editor's frame of mind. 


AT the present time there exists more literature 
jl\ devoted to the American Revolution than to 
any other period in our history, and its very extent 
increases the difficulty of writing upon the subject. 
While the military side of the struggle has been al- 
most exhaustively treated, there yet remains, not- 
withstanding much good work, many political, 
social, and constitutional questions which have been 
only superficially studied. The problems of writing 
this volume have been therefore those of con- 
densation, of giving proper proportions to the 
several phases of the Revolution, and of getting a 
fuller understanding of those questions which have 
been neglected. I have sought to portray the 
struggle not as a mere fight between England and 
America, but, as it really was, a civil war between 
opposing political factions in the British Empire. 
That these factions were not divided by the ocean is 
clearly shown in the bitter internecine war between 
Whig and Tory in America, and by the stubborn 
parliamentary struggle in England. 

The fundamental reason why America changed the 
conflict from a strife for political liberty to one for in- 



dependence appears when we note the divergence of 
the poHtical ideals, found in the new state constitu- 
tions, from the constitutional forms then dominant 
in England. Independent America here gave tangi- 
ble form to those radical political ideas from which 
sprang her discontent with the imperial system of 
Great Britain. But even in the revolutionary party 
there was not unity, and while creating the new 
state governments we find the frontier democracy 
making demands upon the conservative seaboard 
which are prophetic of the extremer democracy 
yet to be developed upon the American continent. 
This fact, together with the unreadiness of the 
several states to submit to the control of a new 
central power, when the British government was no 
longer recognized, prepares us to understand the 
great constitutional and political controversies which 
followed the Revolution. Finally, I have tried to 
show the relative importance of the diplomatic as 
compared with the military activities of the revo- 
lutionary leaders in the attainment of American in- 

My indebtedness to previous writers on the 
American Revolution is shown in the foot-notes and 
the bibliographical chapter. Aside from these my 
obligations are few but deep. To Professor A. C. 
McLaughlin I am especially indebted for sugges- 
tions made while talking over with him the con- 
stitutional problems of the revolutionary period. 
Professor F. J. Turner, also, has given me im- 


portant suggestions as to the West in the Revolution, 
and has kindly sent me valuable material from the 
Draper manuscripts. Mr. E. S. Corwin permitted 
me to use materials which he had collected for a 
work on the relations of France with America in 
the Revolution. The editor of this series has 
dealt with my work with such patience and liberal- 
ity that I owe him my sincerest thanks. 

VOL. IX.— 2 Claude Halstead Van Tyne. 





NOT a clause in the Declaration of Independence 
sets forth the real and underlying cause of the 
American Revolution. The attention of its writer 
was bent upon recent events, and he dwelt only 
upon the immediate reasons for throwing off 
allegiance to the British government. In the dark 
of the storm already upon them, the men of the 
time could hardly look with clear vision back to 
ultimate causes. They could not see that the 
English kings had planted the seeds of the Revolu- 
tion when, in their zeal to get America colonized, 
they had granted such political and religious priv- 
ileges as tempted the radicals and dissenters of 
the time to migrate to America. Only historical 
research could reveal the fact that from the year 
1620 the English government had been systemati- 



cally stocking the colonies with dissenters and re- 
taining in England the conformers. The tendency 
of colonization was to leave the conservatives in 
England, thus relatively increasing the conservative 
force at home, while the radicals went to America 
to fortify the radical political philosophy there. 
Thus England lost part of her potentiality for 
political development. 

Not only were radicals constantly settling in the 
colonies, because of the privileges granted them 
there, but the crown neglected to enforce in the 
colonies the same regulations that it enforced at 
home. The Act of Uniformity was not extended 
to the colonies, though rigidly enforced in England; 
the viceregal officers, the governors, permitted them- 
selves again and again to be browbeaten and dis- 
obeyed by the colonial legislatures;^ and even the 
king himself had allowed Massachusetts (1635) to 
overreach him by not giving up her charter.* 

After a century of great laxity towards the 
colonies — a century in which the colonists were 
favored by political privileges shared by no other 
people of that age; after the environment had 
established new social conditions, and remoteness 
and isolation had created a local and individual 
hatred of restraint; after the absence of traditions 
had made possible the institution of representation 
by population, and self-government had taken on a 

* Greene, The Provincial Governor, passim. 
» Barry, Hist, of Mass., I., 288-295. 

1760] CAUSES 5, 

new meaning in the world; after a great gulf had 
been fixed between the social, political, and economic 
institutions of the two parts of the British empire — 
only then did the British government enter upon 
a policy intended to make the empire a unity. ^ 

Independence had long existed in spirit in most 
of the essential matters of colonial life, and the 
British government had only to seek to establish 
its power over the colonies in order to arouse a de- 
sire for formal independence. The transition in 
England, therefore, to an imperial ideal, about the 
middle of the eighteenth century, doubtless caused 
the rending of the empire. Walpole and Newcastle, 
whose administrations had just preceded the reign 
of George III., had let the colonies alone, and thus 
aided the colonial at the expense of the imperial 
idea; while their successors, Grenville and Town- 
shend, ruling not wisely but too well, forced the 
colonists to realize that they cared more for Amer- 
ica than for England. 

The time had come, though these ministers failed 
to see it, when the union of Great Britain with her 
colonies depended on the offspring's disposition 
towards the mother-country. Good feeling would 
preserve the union, but dissatisfaction would make 
even forcible control impossible. Social and polit- 
ical and economic ties still bound the colonists to 
the home land, but these were weak ties as compared 

* For a detailed study of this subject, see Howard, Prelimi' 
nartes of the Revolution {American Nation, VIII.). 


with an irrepressible desire for self-growth. The 
expression of their poHtical ideals unrestrained by 
the conservatism of the parent was a desired end to 
which they strove, almost unconscious of their object. 

To understand the American Revolution, there- 
fore, several facts must be clearly in mind — first, 
that Great Britain had for one hundred and fifty 
years been growing to the dignity of an empire, and 
that the thirteen colonies were a considerable part 
of that empire ; second, the colonies had interests of 
their own which were not favored by the growing 
size and strength of the empire. They were ad- 
vancing to new political ideals faster than the 
mother-country. Their economic interests were 
becoming differentiated from those of England. 
They were coming to have wants and ambitions 
and hopes of their own quite distinct from those of 
Great Britain. 

At the fatal time when the independent spirit of 
America had grown assertive, the politically active 
part of the British people began unconsciously to 
favor an imperial policy, which their ministers sug- 
gested, and which to them seemed the very essence 
of sound reasoning and good government. They 
approved of the proposed creation of executives 
who should be independent of the dictation of the 
colonial assemblies. There were also to be new 
administrative organs having power to enforce the 
colonial trade regulations ; and the defensive system 
of the colonies was to be improved by a force of reg- 

1764] CAUSES 7 

ular troops, which was in part to be supported by 
colonial taxes. 

In order to accomplish these objects, the king's 
new minister, the assiduous Grenville, who knew 
the law better than the maxims of statesmanship, 
induced Parliament, in March, 1764, to resolve upon 
"certain stamp duties" for the colonies. A year 
later the "Gentle Shepherd," as Pitt had dubbed 
him, proved his watchfulness by getting a stamp 
act passed,* which, though nearly a duplicate of one 
in force in England, and like one of Massachusetts' 
own laws, nevertheless aroused every colony to vio- 
lent wrath. 

This sudden flame of colonial passion rose from 
the embers of discontent with Grenville's policy of 
enforcing the trade or navigation laws — those re- 
strictions upon colonial industries and commerce 
which were the outgrowth of a protective commer- 
cial policy which England had begun even before 
the discovery of America.^ As the colonies grew 
they began to be regarded as a source of wealth to 
the mother-country; and, at the same time that 
bounties were given them for raising commodities 
desired by England, restrictions were placed upon 
American trade. ^ When the settlers of the northern 

* 5 George III., chap, xii., given in Macdonald, Select Charters, 
281, ^ Beer, Commercial Policy of England, 10-13. 

■ ' For details and exact references to laws, see Channing, The 
Navigation Laws, in Amer. Antiq. Soc, Proceedings, new series, 
VI. For discussion, see Andrews, Colonial Self -Government, chap, 
j.; Greene, Colonial Commonwealths {American Nation, V., VI.). 


and middle colonies began manufacturing for them- 
selves, their industry no sooner interfered with 
English manufactures than a law was passed to 
prevent the exportation of the production and to 
Hmit the industry itself. This system of restric- 
tions, though it necessarily established a real oppo- 
sition of interest between America and England, 
does not seem on the whole to have been to the dis- 
advantage of the colonies ; ^ nor was the English colo- 
nial system a whit more severe than that of other 
European countries. 

In 1733, however, the Molasses Act went into ef- 
fect,^ and, had it been enforced, would have been a 
serious detriment to American interests. It not only 
aimed to stop the thriving colonial trade with the 
Dutch, French, and Spanish West Indies, but was 
intended to aid English planters in the British West 
Indies by laying a prohibitive duty on imported 
foreign sugar and molasses. It was not enforced, 
however, for the customs officials, by giving fraud- 
ulent clearances, acted in collusion with the colonial 
importers in evading the law; but, in 1761, during 
the war with France, the thrifty colonists carried on 
an illegal trade with the enemy, and Pitt demanded 
that the restrictive laws be enforced. 

The difficulty of enforcing was great, for it was 
hard to seize the smuggled goods, and harder still to 
convict the smuggler in the colonial courts. Search- 

* Beer, Commercial Policy of England, chap. vii. 
' 6 George II., chap. xiii. 

1763] CAUSES 9 

warrants were impracticable, because the legal man- 
ner of using them made the informer*s name public, 
and the law was unable to protect him from the 
anger of a community fully in sympathy with the 
smugglers. The only feasible way to put down this 
unpatriotic trade with the enemy was to resort to 
*' writs of assistance," which would give the cus- 
toms officers a right to search for smuggled goods in 
any house they pleased.* Such warrants were legal, 
had been used in America, and were frequently used 
in England ; ^ yet so highly developed was the Amer- 
ican love of personal liberty that when James Otis, 
a Boston lawyer, resisted by an impassioned speech 
the issue of such writs his arguments met universal 
approval.^ In perfect good faith he argued, after 
the manner of the ancient law-writers, that Parlia- 
ment could not legalize tyranny, ignoring the his- 
torical fact that since the revolution of 1688 an act 
of Parliament was the highest guarantee of right, 
and Parliament the sovereign and supreme power. 
Nevertheless, the popularity of Otis's argument 
showed what America believed, and pointed very 
plainly the path of wise statesmanship. 

When, in 1763, the Pontiac Indian rebellion en- 
dangered the whole West and made necessary a 
force of soldiers in Canada, Grenville, in spite of the 
recent warning, determined that the colonies should 

' Macdonald, Select Charters, 259. 

' Lecky, American Revolution (Woodbum's ed.), 48. 

•J. Adams, Works, II., 523-525. 


share the burden which was rapidly increasing in 
England. He lowered the sugar and molasses duties, * 
and set out to enforce their collection by every law- 
ful means. The trouble which resulted developed 
more quickly in Massachusetts, because its harsh 
climate and sterile soil drove it to a carrying-trade, 
and the enforced navigation laws were thought to 
threaten its ruin. Tt was while American economic 
affairs were in this condition that Grenville rashly 
aggravated the discontent by the passage of his 
Stamp Act. 

As the resistance of the colonies to this taxation 
led straight to open war and final independence, it 
will be worth while to look rather closely at the 
stamp tax, and at the subject of representation, 
which was at once linked with it. The terms of the 
Stamp Act are not of great importance, because, 
though it did have at least one bad feature as a law, 
the whole opposition was on the ground that there 
should be no taxation whatever without represen- 
tation. It made no difference to its enemies that 
the money obtained by the sale of stamps was to 
stay in America to support the soldiers needed for 
colonial protection. Nothing would appease them 
while the taxing body contained no representatives 
of their own choosing. 

To attain this right, they made their fight upon 
legal and historical grounds — the least favorable 
they could have chosen. They declared that, under 
* 4 George III,, chap. xv. 

1765] CAUSES II 

the British constitution, there could be no taxation 
except by persons known and voted for by the per- 
sons taxed. The wisest men seemed not to see the 
kernel of the dispute. A very real danger threat- 
ened the colonies — subject as they were to a body 
unsympathetic with the political and economic con- 
ditions in which they were living — ^but they had no 
legal safeguard.^ They must either sever the exist- 
ing constitutional bond or get Parliament of its own 
will to limit its power over the colonies. All un- 
wittingly the opponents of the Stamp Act were 
struggling with a problem that could be solved only 
by revolution. 

Two great fundamental questions were at issue: 
Should there be a British empire ruled by Parlia- 
ment in all its parts, either in England or oversea? 
or should Parliament govern at home, and the colo- 
nial assemblies in America, with only a federal bond 
to unite them? Should the English understanding 
of representation be imposed upon the colonies ? or 
should America's institution triumph in its own 
home? If there was to be a successful imperial 
system, Parliament must have the power to tax all 
parts of the empire. It was of no use to plead that 
Parliament had never taxed the colonies before, for, 
as Dr. Johnson wrote, "We do not put a calf into 
the plough: we wait till it is an ox."^ The colonies 
were strong enough to stand taxation now, and the 

* Osgood, in Political Science Quarterly, XIII., 45. 
' Lecky, American Revolution (Woodbum's ed.), 64, 


reasonable dispute must be as to the manner of it; 
To understand the widely different points of view 
of Englishmen and Americans, we must examine 
their systems of representative government. 

In electing members to the House of Commons in 
England certain ancient counties and boroughs were 
entitled to representation, each sending two mem- 
bers, regardless of the number of people within its 
territory. For a century and a half before the 
American Revolution only four new members were 
added to the fixed number in Parliament. Mean- 
while, great cities had grown up which had no rep- 
resentation, though certain boroughs, once very 
properly represented, had become uninhabited, and 
the lord who owned the ground elected the members 
to Parliament, taking them, not from the district 
represented, but from any part of the kingdom. 
The franchise was usually possessed either by the 
owners of the favored pieces of land or in thd 
boroughs chiefly by persons who inherited certain 
rights which marked them as freemen. A man had 
as many votes as there were constituencies in which 
he possessed the qualifications. 

In the colonial assemblies there was a more dis- 
tinct territorial basis for representation, and changes 
of population brought changes of representation. 
New towns sent new members to the provincial 
assembly, and held the right to be of great value. 
All adult men — even negroes in New England — 
owning a certain small amount of property could 

1765] CAUSES 13 

vote for these members. In the South only the 
landholders voted, but the supply of land was not 
limited, as in England, and it was easily acquired. 
Finally, the voter and the representative voted for 
must, as a rule, be residents of the same district. 
From the first the colonial political ideals were 
affected by new conditions. When they established 
representative government they had no historic 
places sanctified by tradition to be the sole breeding- 
places of members of Parliament. 

Backed by such divergent traditions as these, the 
two parts of the British empire, or, more accurately, 
the dominant party in each section of the empire, 
faced each other upon a question of principle. 
Neither could believe in the honesty of the other, 
for each argued out of a different past. The oppo- 
nents of the Stamp Act could not understand the 
political thinking which held them to be represented 
in the British Parliament. "No taxation without 
representation*' meant for the colonist that taxes 
ought to be levied by a legislative body in which was 
seated a person known and voted for by the person 
taxed. An Englishman only asked that there be 
**no taxation except that voted by the House of 
Commons." He was not concerned with the mode 
of election to that house or the interests of the per- 
sons composing it. The colonist called the Stamp 
Act tyranny, but the British government certainly 
intended none, for it acted upon the theory of virtual 
representation, the only kind of representation en- 


joyed by the great mass of Englishmen either at 
home or in the colonies. On that theory nothing 
was taxed except by the consent of the virtual rep- 
resentatives of those taxed. But, replied an Amer- 
ican, in England the interests of electors and non- 
electors are the same. Security against any op- 
pression of non-electors lies in the fact that it 
would be oppressive to electors also ; but Americans 
have no such safeguard, for acts oppressive to them 
might be popular with English electors.^ 

When the news of the Stamp Act first came over- 
sea there was apparent apathy. The day of en- 
forcement was six months away, and there was 
nothing to oppose but a law. It was the fitting time 
for an agitator. Patrick Henry, a gay, unprosper- 
ous, and unknown country lawyer, had been carried 
into the Virginia House of Burgesses on the public 
approval of his impassioned denial, in the ** Parson's 
Cause" (1763), of the king's right to veto a needed 
law passed by the colonial legislature. He now 
offered some resolutions agamst the stamp tax, 
denying the right of Parliament to legislate in the 
internal affairs of the colony.^ This *' alarum bell to 
the disaffected," and the fiery speech which secured 
its adoption by an irresolute assembly, were ap- 
plauded ever^^where. Jefferson said of Henry, that 
he "spoke as Homer wrote." 

As soon as the names of the appointed stamp-dis- 

' Dulany, in Tyler, Lit. Hist, of Am. Rev., I.. 104-105. 

' Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Patrick Henry- 1., 84-8^^ 

1765] CAUSES 15 

tributers were made known (August i, 1765) the 
masses expressed their displeasure in a way unfortu- 
nately too common in America. Throughout the 
land there was rifling of stamp-collectors' houses, 
threatening their hves, burning their records and 
documents, and ev^n their houses. Their offices 
were demolished and their resignations compelled — 
in one case under a hanging effigy, suggestive of the 
result of refusal. The more moderate patriots can- 
celled their orders with British merchants, agreed 
not to remit their English debts, and dressed in 
homespun to avoid wearing imported clothes. 

On the morning that the act went into effect (No- 
vember I, 1765) bells tolled the death of the nation. 
Shops were shut, flags hung at half-mast, and news- 
papers appeared with a death's-head where the 
stamp should have been. Mobs burned the stamps, 
and none were to be had to legalize even the most 
solemn and important papers. The courts ignored 
them and the governors sanctioned their omission. 
None could be used, because none could be obtained. 
All America endorsed the declaration of rights of the 
Stamp-Act Congress, which met in New York, Octo- 
ber, 1765. It asserted that the colonists had the same 
liberties as British subjects. Circumstances, they de- 
clared, prevented the colonists from being represented 
in the House of Commons, therefore no taxes could 
be levied except by their respective legislatures.* 

This great ado was a complete surprise to the 

* Hart, Contemporaries, II., 402. 


British government. On the passage of the Stamp 
Act, Walpole had written/ " There has been nothing 
of note in Parliament but one slight day on the 
American taxes." That expressed the common 
conception of its importance; and when the Gren- 
ville ministry fell (July, 1765), and was succeeded 
by that of Rockingham, the American situation 
had absolutely nothing to do with the change. The 
new ministry was some months in deciding its pol- 
icy. The king was one of the first to realize the 
situation, which he declared ''the most serious that 
ever came before Parliament" (December 5, 1765). 
Weak and unwilling to act as the new ministry was, 
the situation compelled attention. The king at first 
favored coercion of the rebellious colonies, but the 
English merchants, suffering from the suspended 
trade, urged Parliament to repeal the act. Their 
demand decided the ministry to favor retraction, 
just as formerly their influence had forced the navi- 
gation laws and the restrictions on colonial manu- 
factures. If the king and landed gentry were re- 
sponsible for the immediate causes of the Revolu- 
tion, the influence of the English commercial classes 
on legislation was the more ultimate cause. 

After one of the longest and most heated debates 
in the history of Parliament, under the advice of 
Benjamin Franklin, given at the bar of the House 
of Commons,^ and with the powerful aid of Pitt and 

* Walpole' s Letters, February 12, 1765. 

* Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 161-198. 

1766] CAUSES 17 

Camden, the Stamp Act was repealed. Another act 
passed at the same time asserted Parliament's power 
to legislate for the colonies in all cases whatsoever.^ 
Thus the firebrand was left smouldering amid the 
inflammable colonial affairs; and Burke was quick 
to point out that the right to tax, or any other 
right insisted upon after it ceased to harmonize with 
prudence and expediency, would lead to disaster.^ 

It is plain to-day that the only way to keep up the 
nominal union between Great Britain and her colo- 
nies was to let them alone. The colonies felt strongly 
the ties of blood, interest, and affection which bound 
them to England.^ They would all have vowed, 
after the repeal of the Stamp Act, that they loved 
their parent much more than they loved one another. 
They felt only the normal adult instinct to act in- 
dependently. Could the British government have 
given up the imperial idea to which it so tenaciously 
clung, a federal union might have been preserved. 

The genius of dissolution, however, gained control 
of the ministry which next came into power. When 
illness withdrew Pitt from the ''Mosaic Ministry," 
which he and Grafton had formed, Townshend's 
brilliant talents gave him the unquestioned lead. 
This man, who is said to have surpassed Burke in 
wit and Chatham in solid sense, determined to try 
again to tax the colonies for imperial purposes.* He 

* 6 George III., chap. xii. 2 Morley, Burke, 146. 
^Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 169. 

* Walpole, Memoirs of George III., II., 275, III., 23-27. 


ridiculed the distinction between external and in- 
ternal tax; but since the colonists had put stress 
on the illegality of the latter he laid the new tax 
on imported articles, and prepared to collect at the 
custom-houses. The income was to pay the sal- 
aries of colonial governors and judges, and thus 
render them independent of the tyrannical and 
contentious assemblies. Writs of assistance, so 
effective in enforcing the revenue laws, but so hated 
by the colonists, were legalized. The collection of 
the revenue was further aided by admiralty courts, 
which should try the cases without juries, thus 
preventing local sympathy from shielding the 
violators of the law.^ 

All the indifference into which America had 
relapsed, and which the agitators so much deplored, 
at once disappeared. The right of trial by jury was 
held to be inalienable. The control of the judiciary 
and executive by the people was necessary to free 
government, asserted the pamphleteers. ParHament 
could not legaHze "writs of assistance," they rashly 
cried. The former stickling at an internal tax was 
forgotten, and they objected to any tax whatever — a 
more logical position, which John Dickinson, of Penn- 
sylvania, supported by the assertion "that any law, 
in so far as it creates expense, is in reality a tax." 
Samuel Adams drew up a circular letter, w^hich the 
Massachusetts assembly despatched to the other 

» 7 George III., chaps, xli., xlvi., Ivi. See Macdonald, Select 
Charters, 320-330. 

1768] CAUSES 19 

colonial assemblies, urging concerted action against 
this new attack on colonial liberties/ The British 
government, through the colonial governors, at- 
tempted to squelch this letter, but the Massachusetts 
assembly refused to rescind, and the other colonies 
were quick to embrace its cause. 

Signs were not wanting that the people as well 
as the political leaders were aroused. When the 
customs officials, in 1768, seized John Hancock's 
sloop Liberty, for alleged evasion of the customs 
duties, there was a riot which so frightened the 
officers that they fled to the fort and wrote to 
England for soldiers. 

This and other acts of resistance to the govern- 
ment led Parliament to urge the king to exercise a 
right given him by an ancient act to cause persons 
charged with treason to be brought to England 
for trial. The Virginia assembly protested against 
this, and sent their protest to the other colonies for 
approval.^ The governor dissolved the assembly, 
but it met and voted a non-importation agreement, 
which also met favor in the other colonies. This 
economic argument again proved effective, and the 
Townshend measures were repealed, except the tax on 
tea ; Parliament thus doing everything but remove 
the offence — ''fixing a badge of slavery upon the 
Americans without service to their masters."* Th« 

* Samuel Adams, Writings (Cushing's ed.), I., 184. 
' Hutchinson, Hist, of Massachusetts Bay, III., 494. 
•Junius (ed. of 1799), 11., 31. 


old trade regulations also remained to vex the 

In order that no disproportionate blame may be 
attached to the king or his ministry for the bringing 
on of the Revolution, it must be noted that the 
English nation, the Parliament, and the king were 
all agreed when the sugar and stamp acts were 
passed; and though Parliament mustered a good- 
sized minority against the Townshend acts, never- 
theless no unaccustomed influence in its favor was 
used by the king. Thus the elements of the cloud 
were all gathered before the king's personality began 
to intensify the oncoming storm. The later acts of 
Parliament and the conduct of the king had the 
sole purpose of overcoming resistance to established 
government. Most of these coercive acts, though 
no part of the original policy, were perfectly con- 
stitutional even in times of peace. They must 
be considered in their historical setting, however, 
just as President Lincoln's extraordinary acts i'n a 
time of like national peril. Henceforth we are 
dealing with the natural, though perhaps ill-judged, 
efforts of a government to repress a rebellion. 

After the riot which followed the seizure of the 
Liberty (June, 1768), two regiments of British 
soldiers were stationed in Boston. The very in- 
adequacy of the force made its relations with the 
citizens strained, for they resented without fearing 
it. After enduring months of jeering and vilifica- 
tion, the soldiers at last (March 5, 1770) fired 

1773] CAUSES 21 

upon a threatening mob, and four men were killed. 
Much was made of the "massacre," as it was called, 
because it symbolized for the people the substitution 
of military for civil government. A Boston jury 
acquitted the soldiers, and, after a town-meeting, 
the removal of the two regiments was secured. 

A period of quiet followed until the assembly and 
the governor got into a debate over the theoretical 
rights of the colonists. To spread the results of this 
debate, Sammel Adams devised the *' committees 
of correspondence,"^ which kept the towns of 
Massachusetts informed of the controversy in 
Boston. This furnished a model for the colonial 
committees of correspondence, which became the 
most efficient means for revolutionary organization. 
They created public opinion, set war itself in motion, 
and were the embryos of new governments when 
the old were destroyed. 

The first provincial committee that met with gen- 
eral response from the other colonies was appointed 
by Virginia, March 12, 1773, to keep its assembly 
informed of the * * Gas pee Commission . " ^ The Gas pee 
was a sort of revenue-cutter which, while too zealous- 
ly enforcing the Navigation Acts, ran aground (Jime 
9, 1772) in Narragansett Bay. Some Providence 
men seized and burned the vessel, and the British 
government appointed a commission to inquire into 

* Collins, Committees of Correspondence (Amer. Hist. Assoc, 
Report, 1901),*!., 247. 

« Va. Cat. of State Pap., VIII., 1-2. 


the affair.* The commission met with universal 
opposition and had to report failure. 

From this time on the chain of events that led tcj 
open rebellion consists of a series of links so plainly 
joined and so well known that they need only the 
barest mention in this brief introduction to the 
actual war. The British government tried to give 
temporary aid to the East India Company by re- 
mitting the heavy revenue on tea entering English 
ports, through which it must pass before being 
shipped to America, and by licensing the company 
itself to sell tea in America.* To avoid yielding the 
principle for which they had been contending, they 
retained at colonial ports the threepenny duty, 
which was all that remained of the Townshend 
revenue scheme. Ships loaded with this cheap tea 
came into the several American ports and were 
received with different marks of odiiim at different 
places. In Boston, after peaceful attempts to pre- 
vent the landing proved of no avail, an impromp- 
tu band of Indians threw the tea overboard, so that 
the next morning saw it lying like sea-weed on Dor- 
chester beach. 

This outrage, as it was viewed in England, caused 

a general demand for repressive measures, and the 

five "intolerable acts" were passed and sent oversea 

to do the last irremediable mischief.' Boston's port 

« R. I. Col. Records, VIL, 81, 108. 

> Farrand, "Taxation of Tea," in Amer. Hist. Review, III., 269. 
•Macdonald, Select Charters, 337-3^6; Force, Ant. Archive?, 
4tli series, I., ?t6. 

1774] CAUSES 23 

was closed until the town should pay for the tea. 
Massachusetts' charter was annulled, its town- 
meetings irksomely restrained, and its government 
so changed that its executive officers would all be 
under the king's control. Two other acts provided 
for the care and judicial privileges of the soldiers 
who soon came to enforce the acts. Finally, great 
offence was given the Protestant colonies by grant- 
ing religious freedom to the Catholics of Quebec, 
and the bounds of that colony were extended to the 
Ohio River,* thus arousing all the colonies claiming 
Western lands. Except in the case of Virginia, there 
was no real attack on their territorial integrity, but 
in the excitement there seemed to be. 

Some strong incentive for the colonies to act 
together had long been the only thing needed to send 
the flame of rebellion along the whole sea-coast. 
When the British soldiers began the enforcement of 
the punishment meted to Boston, sympathy and 
fear furnished the common bond. After several 
proposals of an intercolonial congress, the step was 
actually taken on a call from oppressed Massachu- 
setts (June 17, 1774).^ Delegates from every colony 
except Georgia met in Philadelphia in September, 
1774. Seven of the twelve delegations were chosen 
not by the regular assemblies, but by revolutionary 
conventions called by local committees; while in 

* " Quebec Act and the American Revolution," in Yale Review, 
August, 1895. 

* Force, Am, Archives, 4th series, I., 421. 


Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, 
three of the remaining ^Ye states, the assemblies 
that sent the delegates were wholly dominated by 
the revolutionary element. Local committees may, 
therefore, be said to have created the congress, and 
they would now stand ready to enforce its will. 

The assembled congress adopted a declaration of 
rights, but their great work was the forming an 
American association to enforce a non-importation 
and non-consumption agreement . ^ Local committees 
were to see that all who traded with England or 
refused to associate were held up as enemies of their 
country. The delegates provided for a new congress 
in the following May, and adjourned. 

Meanwhile, General Gage and his **pretorian 
guard" in Boston were administering the govern- 
ment of Massachusetts with noteworthy results. 
A general court of the colony was summoned by 
Gage, who, repenting, tried to put it off ; but it met, 
formed a provincial congress, and, settling down at* 
Cambridge, governed the whole colony outside of 
Boston. It held the new royal government to be 
illegal, ordered the taxes paid to its own receiver in- 
stead of Gage's, and organized a militia. Gage at last 
determined to disarm the provincials. His raid to de- 
stroy the stores at Concord (April 19, 1775) resulted 
in an ignominious retreat and the loss of two hundred 
and seventy- three men, to say nothing of bringing 
sixteen thousand patriots swarming about Boston. 

* Macdonald, Select Charters, 356, 362. 



THOUGH mainly social and economic forces 
brought the revolution to the stage of open 
warfare, a Massachusetts politician had so used these 
forces that both his friends and enemies thought 
the blame or the honor to be his. Samuel Adams 
began to desire independence as early as 1768. 
From that time it was his unwearying effort to keep 
alive the opposition to the British ministry. For 
years he sought to instil in the minds of rising 
youths the notion of independence. His adroit 
mind, .always awake and tireless, toiled for but one 
end; and he was narrow-minded enough to be a 
perfect politician. Two opposing views could never 
occupy his mind at the same time. For sharp 
practices he had no aversion, but he used them 
for public good, as he saw it, and not for private 
gain. He was a public servant, great or small, from 
his earliest manhood — as inspector of chimneys, tax- 
collector, or moderator of town-meetings. He was 
ever a failure in business; in politics, shrewd and 
able. The New England town-meeting was the 



theatre of his action;^ he directed the Boston 
meetings, and the other towns followed. His tools 
were men. He was intimate with all classes, from the 
ship-yard roustabouts to the ministers of the gospel. 
In the canvass and caucus he was supreme. Others 
were always in the foreground, thinking that theirs 
was the glory. An enemy said that he had an un- 
rivalled "talent for artfully and fallaciously in- 
sinuating" malice into the public mind. A friend 
dubbed him the "Colossus of debate." He was 
ready in tact and cool in moments of excitement; 
his reasoning and eloquence had a nervous sim- 
plicity, though there was little of fire, and he was 
sincere rather than rhetorical. 

Adams was of medium stature, but in his most 
intense moments he attained to a dignity of figure 
and gesture. His views were clear and his good 
sense abundant, so that he always received profound 
attention. Prematurely gray, palsied in hand, and 
trembling in voice, yet he had a mental audacity un- 
paralleled. He was dauntless himself, and thus 
roused and fortified the people. Nor were his efforts 
confined to the town -meeting, for he was also a 
voluminous newspaper writer. He showed no toler- 
ance for an opponent, and his attacks were keenly 
felt. " Damn that Adams. Every dip of his pen 
stings like a horned snake," cried an enemy. Thus 
he went on canvassing, caucusing, haranguing, and 
writing until the maddened Gage attempted to 

* Wells, Samuel Adams, I. 

Vl ' '^ 


1775] OUTBREAK 27 

seize him and the munitions of war which he and 
his fellow -poHticians had induced the colony to 
collect. Concord and Lexington and the pursuit 
into Boston were the results. 

At the close of that long day of fighting (April 19, 
1775) it was plain that war had begun, and the 
]\Iassachusetts politicians who had pushed matters 
to that stage may well have had misgivings. A 
single colony could have no hope of success, and 
there was little in the past to make one believe that 
the thirteen colonies would unite even to defend 
their political liberties. Franklin gave a vivid 
picture of their different forms of government, 
different laws, different interests, and, in some in- 
stances, different religious persuasions and different 
manners.' Their jealousy of one another was, he 
declared, "so great that, however necessary a union 
of the colonies has long been for their common de- 
fence, . . . yet they have never been able to effect 
such a union among themselves." They were 
more jealous of each other than of England, and 
though plans for union had been proposed by 
their ablest statesmen, they had refused to consider 
them.^ There were long-standing disputes between 
neighboring colonies over boundaries, over relations 
with the Indians, and over matters of trade. 

The greatest danger, however, that confronted 
'the American cause was political division on the 

^ Franklin, Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 41. 

* Franklin's Plan, in Works (Sparks's ed.), III., 26, 36-55. 


subject of the relations with England. As the 
quarrel with the mother-country grew more bitter, 
it was seen that the British government had many- 
friends in America who, if they did not defend the 
action of the ministry, at least frowned upon the 
violent opposition to it. They believed that Amer- 
ica's best interests lay in the union with Great 
Britain. The aristocracy of culture, of dignified 
professions and callings, of official rank and heredi- 
tary wealth tended to side with the central govern- 
ment.^ The more prosperous and contented men 
had no grievances, and conservatism was the char- 
acter one would expect in them. They denounced 
the agitators as demagogues and their followers as 
"the mob." 

Through the long ten years of unrest preceding 
the Revolution, these Tories, as they were called, had 
suffered at the hands of mobs, and now, when Gage 
was powerless outside of Boston, an active persecu- 
tion of them began. ^ Millers refused to grind their 
corn, labor would not serve them, and they could 
neither buy nor sell. Men refused to worship in the 
same church with them. They were denoimced as 
"infamous betrayers of their country." Committees 
published their names, "sending them down to 
posterity with the infamy they deserve." After the 
siege of Boston had begun, those who were even 
suspected of Toryism, as their support of the king 
was called, were regarded as enemies in the camp. 

» Van Tyne, Loyalists, 5. ^ Ibid., cjiap. i. 

1775] OUTBREAK 29 

The Massachusetts committees compelled them 
to sign recantations or confined them in jails for 
refusal. If th^y escaped they were pursued with 
hue and cry. 

Some fled to other colonies, but found that,*' like 
Cain, they had some discouraging mark upon them." 
In exile they learned that the patriot wrath visited 
their property: their private coaches were burned 
or pulled in pieces. A rich importer's goods were 
destroyed or stolen, and his effigy was hung up in 
sight of his house during the day and burned at 
night. Beautiful estates, where was ''every beauty 
of art or nature, every elegance, which it cost years 
of care and toil in bringing to perfection," were 
laid waste. Looking upon this work of ruin, a 
despairing loyalist cried that the Americans were 
" as blind and mad as Samson, bent upon pulling the 
edifice down upon their heads to perish in the 

The violence of the patriots' attack upon the 
loyalists seemed for a time to eliminate the latter 
from the struggle. The friends of royal power in 
America expected too much, and while the king's 
enemies were organizing they waited for him to crush 
the rising rebellion. They looked on with wonder as 
the signal flew from one local committee to another 
over thirteen colonies, who now needed only a 
glowing fact like Lexington to fuse them into one 
defensive whole. The news reached Putnam's Con- 
necticut farm in a day ; Arnold, at New Haven, had 


it the next day, and in four days it had reached New 
York/ Unknown messengers carried it through 
Philadelphia, past the Chesapeake, on to Charleston, 
and wdthin twenty days the news in many garbled 
forms was evoking a common spirit of patriotism 
from Maine to Georgia. It was commonly believed 
that America must be saved from "abject slavery" 
by the bands of patriots encompassing Boston. 

The farmers and mechanics who had hurried from 
their work to drive the British from Concord into 
Boston were not an army. They settled dow^n in a 
great half-circle around the port with a common 
purpose of compelling Gage to take to his ships, but 
with no definite plan. Confusion was everywhere. 
Men were coming and going, and there were no reg- 
ular enlistments.^ A few natural leaders were doing 
wonders in holding them together.^ Among them 
the brave and courteous Joseph Warren, the warm 
friend of Samuel Adams and zealous comrade in 
the recent work of agitation, was conquering in- 
subordination by the manly modesty and gentleness 
of his character. Others who were old campaigners 
of the French and Indian wars worked ceaselessly to 
bring order out of chaos. 

Yet not even the fanatic zeal of the siege could 
banish provincial jealousies. There were as many 
leaders as there were colonies represented. New 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, II., 365-368. 

' Hatch, Administration of the Revolutionary Army, 1. 

^ Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 100-102. 

1775] OUTBREAK 31 

Hampshire men were led by John Stark, a hero of 
the French war; Connecticut men were under 
Israel Putnam, more picturesque as a wolf -slayer 
than able as a leader. Nathanael Greene, the philo- 
sophic and literary blacksmith, commanded the 
Rhode Island militia/ It was with difficulty that 
"the grand American army," as the Massachusetts 
congress called it, finally intrusted the chief com- 
mand to General Artemas Ward, who, in turn, was 
controlled by the Massachusetts committee of 

Even with some organization and a leader there 
was little outward semblance of an army. In the 
irregular dress, brown and green hues were the rule. 
Uniforms like those of the British regulars, the 
hunting-shirt of the backwoodsman, and even the 
blankets of savages were seen side by side in the 
ranks of the first patriot armies. There was little 
distinction between officer and private.^ Each com- 
pany chose its own officers out of the ranks,' and the 
private could not understand why he should salute 
his erstwhile friend and neighbor or ask his per- 
mission to go home. The principle of social de- 
mocracy was carried into military life to the great 
detriment of the service. Difference in rank was 
ignored by the officers themselves, who in some 

* Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 99-101. 

'Bolton, The Private Soldier Under Washington, 90; Force, 
Am. Archives, 4th series, III., 2. 

' Hatch, Administration of the Revolutionary Army, 13, 14. 

VOL. IX. — 4 


cases did menial work about camp to curry favor with 
their men. 

Fortunately, there was in this raw miHtia a good 
leaven of soldiers seasoned and trained in the war 
with France. These men led expeditions to the 
islands of Boston Harbor in the effort to get the 
stock before it should be seized by the British.* 
Numerous slight engagements resulted, turning 
favorably, as a rule, for the patriots, and the new 
recruits gained courage with experience. Thus near- 
ly two months passed away, and an elated patriot 
wrote that "danger and war are become pleasing, 
and injured virtue is now aroused to avenge herself." 

The only way to drive Gage out of Boston was to 
seize one of the commanding hill-tops either in 
Dorchester or Charlestown, whence they might open 
a cannonade on the city. Gage saw this danger, 
and with the arrival of reinforcements under Howe, 
Clinton, and Burgoyne a plan was made to get con- 
trol of the dangerous hill-tops. With ten thousand 
well-equipped soldiers to pit against an ill-trained 
and poorly commanded multitude of farmers the 
task seemed easy. After trying to terrify the rebels 
by threatening with the gallows all who should be 
taken with arms, and offering to pardon those who 
would lay them down, Gage prepared to execute 
this plan. The patriots forestalled him by sending 
twelve hundred men under the veteran Colonel 
Prescott to seize Bunker Hill, in Charlestown. 
* Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 105, 106. 

1775] OUTBREAK 33 

This force set out in the evening of June 16, 1775, 
pushed on past Bunker Hill, and began fortifying 
Breed's Hill, which better commanded Boston, but 
which gave the enemy a fine opportunity to cut off 
their retreat, and was exposed to attack in the rear. 
At dawn the British ships in the harbor opened an 
active cannonading, but reinforcements had arrived 
and the work of fortification had so far advanced that 
an attack by land was necessary. It was perfectly 
easy to attack in the rear, but the natural contempt 
of the British regulars for the raw militia prevented 
so sensible a solution. A direct attack in front was 
decided upon. The folly of such tactics was realized 
when two charges up the hill failed because of the 
Americans' deadly fire, and a third was successful 
only because the defenders' powder was gone. The 
patriots retreated with some loss across Charlestown 
Neck; but all that night the chaises and chariots 
that went to the water-side to bring home the Brit- 
ish dead and wounded filed slowly through the 
streets of Boston.* 

The English commanders now began to realize 
what they were to know well before the end of the 
war: that there were conditions in America with 
which Europe had never reckoned. The inhabi- 
tants of the thirteen colonies were chiefly small and 
independent freeholders, backwoodsmen, and hunt- 
ers. The two million and a half of them contained a 

^ This paragraph is based upon the account in Foitescue, British 
*Army, III.; Frothingham, Siege of Boston. 


larger per cent, of men skilled in the use of arms than 
any equal number in Christendom. Frontier life had 
toughened their sinews and developed an individual 
courage, if not a sense of community. The circum- 
stances of their domestic life encouraged a simple, 
earnest, and religious character, well suited to carry 
them through the long struggle now before them. 

Added to this individual fitness for the impending 
war, the people of the colonies were showing a unity 
of purpose unknown in America before. When the 
time came to elect delegates to a second Continental 
Congress, early in 1775,^ the radicals of every colony 
acted with zest. In this election the organization 
of the patriots proved most effective. Not only 
were the colonial adherents to the policy of the 
British ministry unorganized or subdued by per- 
secution, but the more influential disdained to 
enter into a contest with the "noisy, blustering, 
and bellowing patriots." They did sign loyal ad- 
dresses and associations countering those of the 
Whigs, but they did not enter into the campaign 
with a strong, sympathetic organization.^ 

The very conservatism and high social position 
held by the men who were naturally the leaders of 
the Tory party prevented their success in a cam- 
paign against the Whig party. Except in Virginia, 
the typical patriot leaders came for the most part 
from the middle class, and all the political ideals 

* Journals of Congress, October 22, 1774. 
' Van Tyne, Loyalists, 87. 

1775] OUTBREAK 35 

that were rife in the Revolution were democratic in 

After the Revolution passed the bounds of peace- 
ful resistance it was distinctly a movement of the 
lower and middle classes. The men who had been 
prominent in public affairs were pushed into the 
background. A new set of leaders came forward, 
hitherto unknown, less educated, and eager for 
change. The very public documents became more 
illiterate. To the aristocratic and cultured class 
it seemed that the unlettered monster was un- 
chained, and, while they waited for British power to 
restore the old order, they withdrew for the most 
part from what seemed an undignified contest. 

It was by this standing aloof that the Tories 
failed to make their influence felt against the election 
of delegates to the Continental Congress. Very 
small proportions of the people — in some localities 
"not an hundredth part" ^ — turned out to vote, 
and in some cases only the more violent. ''In one 
place two men met and one appointed the other 
delegate to Congress."^ In North Carolina some 
of the representatives at the convention which 
appointed the delegates from that colony were 
chosen by committees of ten or twelve men ; only a 
few enthusiasts seemed to be interested, and eight 
of the forty-four districts sent no representatives.* 

^ Seabury, The Congress Canvassed, 13, 14 
' Rivington's Gazette, November 6,1776; Still6, John Dickinson, 
207. ' Records of North Carolina, IX., 1042. 


In Georgia only five out of the twelve parishes were 
represented in the provincial congress which ap- 
pointed its delegates.^ The men thus chosen re- 
fused to serve, and only the parish of St. John 
was at first represented.^ In New York the loyalists 
were so active that in some Long Island districts 
there were heavy majorities against a convention 
for appointing delegates to the congress. Small 
bodies of patriots, however, relying on outside 
support, sent representatives to the convention,^ 
who, however, felt the restraints natural to repre- 
sentatives of a minority. 

Although the loyalists were terrorized during the 
period of this election, they might have voted in 
many cases where they only showed indifference. 
Thus they lost their last political opportunity. 
The radical leaders now had a smaU representative 
body to act upon, whose resolves and recommenda- 
tions were apt to be obeyed because the colonies 
could, for a time, look to no other leader. 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, II., 279, 

^Journals of Congress, May 13, 1775. 

' Onderdonk, Revolutionary Incidents of Long Island, 316, 



CONSIDERING the uncertain authority of the 
second Continental Congress, which met at 
Philadelphia, May 10, 1775, their audacity will ever 
be a matter of , wonder. Without unity in their 
instructions, with no power to form a government, 
without jurisdiction over an acre of territory, with 
no authority to administer government in an acre, 
if they had had it, with no money, no laws, and 
r' no means to execute them, they entered upon the 
,task of regulating a society in the state of revolution. 
The work of the Congress was far from unanimous. 
"Every important step was opposed, and carried 
by bare majorities."^ The New England delegates, 
led by the Adamses, were regarded with suspicion by 
the delegates from the central and southern States. 
John Dickinson, the bulwark of the conservatives, 
boldly stood in the way of efforts to hurry the 
colonies into a war for independence. In the early 
stage he had been as fierce as any to resist op- 
pression. It was he who formulated the "Dec- 

^ Adams, Works, II., 503. 



laration of Rights" for the Stamp-Act Congress in 
1765, and his Letters of a Farmer, published in 
1768, had great effect in arousing the people to 
a sense of being wronged; yet, though he at first 
led and guided the resistance to taxation, he was 
no revolutionist, as Samuel Adams was.^ His 
action was always bounded by the legal limits of the 

Bom to wealth, with leisure to cultivate his 
scholarship and refine his tastes, Dickinson loved 
the repose of a settled order of things. He felt 
pressed into the service of his country by a sense of 
his duty to her, he said, and though he loved 
liberty he also loved peace. There was in him a 
spirit of moderation and conciliation. Though bom 
a Quaker, he believed defensive war permissible. 
His own rights he would not allow to be trodden 
upon, nor would he invade the rights of others. He 
was no swaggering hero, but mild and amiable. His 
whole training fitted him for the part he acted. A 
private tutor instructed him well in the classics, 
and later, in London, he studied law in the Temple. 
There he was trained solely in English statute and 
common law, and as a result his later arguments 
in the American cause had little tendency to fall 
back on philosophical concepts of natural law. 
Still the great difference between Dickinson and 
the Adamses was not a difference in political 

* Stille, Lijs and Times of John Dickinson; John Dickinson, 
Writings (Ford's ed.), passini. 


argument, but a difference in temperament, which 
made the Quaker lawyer hesitate at bold and rev- 
olutionary actions. 

When the Bostonians destroyed the tea Dickin- 
son doubted their wisdom. He refused to approve 
their violent measures. Neither the ''convivial 
glass," as a "conversational aperient," nor even 
flattery could bring him to it. Then the New Eng- 
land men changed their epithet for him. He was no 
longer the "illustrious farmer," but the "piddling 
genius," the "timid," the "apathetic," the "defi- 
cient in energy." They sneered at his faith in the 
sincerity and intelligence of the British government. 
He held his opinion, however, in the face of un- 
popularity ; and so frank and sincere was he, and so 
plain in his position, that we shall see him restored 
to influence in the midst of a war which he sought 
to prevent. For the present, in the new Congress, 
he fought long and steadily against the radical 
wishes of the Adamses. 

Peyton Randolph, the president of the former 
congress of 1774, and at first chosen for this one,* 
was recalled to preside in his own assembly in Vir- 
ginia. In choosing a new president the Congress 
showed Great Britain how much they valued her 
proscriptions, for the outlawed John Hancock was 
placed in the chair by the influence of Samuel 
Adams, v/ho saw in the wealthy merchant's silks 
and velvets and splendid coach a foil for his own 

^Journals of Congress, May 10, 1775. 


poverty. Adams's enemies said that he had duped 
Hancock, whose "brains were shallow and pockets 
deep," into embracing the revolutionary cause. 
A man of wealth and social position seemed to give 
the lie to the Tory sneer that the Whigs were 
obscure, pettifogging attorneys, smugglers, and 
bankrupt shopkeepers. 

Congress had barely organized before it was called 
upon to approve an act of offensive warfare.^ Ben- 
edict Arnold, with a commission from Massachusetts, 
had started an expedition against Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point, forts on the approaches from Canada 
to the Hudson River of great strategic importance, 
and containing great stores of ammunition, much 
needed by the patriot army. A like expedition was 
at the same time planned in Connecticut, and Ethan 
Allen, the eccentric leader of the "Green Mountain 
Boys," was placed at its head.^ Arnold overtook 
this latter band, and when they refused to recog- 
nize his commission he joined them as a volunteer. 
Hurrying on, they surprised and took Ticonderoga 
without a blow (May 10, 1775). ^^ Allen, as he 
later asserted, demanded its surrender "in the name 
of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress," 
he had no right to do so, for his commission was 
from Connecticut, and Congress when it assembled 

' "Samuel Ward's Diary," in Magazine of American History, 
I., 503- 

'Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, II., 485, 584, 606; Allen's 
V Narrative," in De Puy, Ethan Allen, 213. 

1775] AkMY ORGANIZED 41 

hesitated even to approve of Connecticut placing a 
garrison in Ticonderoga or in Crown Point, which 
surrendered at the same time to Seth Warner, an- 
other famous Vermonter. 

Day b}^ day, however, Congress passed some reso- 
lution tending to the inevitable civil war. In accom- 
plishing this result the statesman John Adams began 
to forge ahead of his cousin the politician. Both 
were viewed with suspicion, but the won ad- 
herents by the breadth of his understanding and his 
straight and simple methods. John Adams had 
consciously made himself ready for his work. His 
culture was to a large degree home- and self-made. 
In his own way he had a command of the humanities 
and of the classic authors. Looked at superficially, 
he seemed jealous, self-seeking, and vain. This men 
saw rather than his bold and active mind. Hence 
his manners were bad, while his judgments and 
measures were good. He was no strategist, but was 
courageous, plucky, and tenacious. Men called 
him a giant in debate. Jefferson speaks of his ''deep 
conceptions, nervous style, and undaunted firmness,'* 
qualities shown, as Adams himself says, only when 
''animating occasion calls forth all my faculties." 
His public career had been consistent, because he 
early saw the destiny of America, and had faith 
in it. Pie was a provincial with national views. 
It now fell to him more than any other to lead 
in a statesman's way to independence and nation- 


Dickinson, with his strong hold on the middle 
colonies, forced a resolution through the Congress 
in July, 1775, to prepare a second petition to the 
king/ He had, however, to accept a compromise by 
which the threatened colonies were at the same time 
to be urged to put themselves in a state of defence. 
The tedious debates had gained another point also, 
for in the middle of June^ Congress had assumed 
the Boston army and chosen a commander-in- 
chief. In this critical moment John Adams saw 
the wisdom of binding the South to New England's 
fortunes by choosing a Virginian to lead her army. 
Local prejudice would have chosen John Hancock, 
who was bitterly chagrined that he missed the office. 
At Adams's suggestion the choice fell upon Colonel 
George Washington, who even then sat in Congress 
in his uniform. Such a choice it was hoped would 
cement and secure the union of the colonies. Men 
remembered, too, that as a young surveyor, on the 
threshold of manhood, Washington had been sent 
on a dangerous mission to the Indians and to the 
French, who were intruding on the border. Heed- 
less of threats and too wary for treachery, he did 
his task in a way that brought him renown. By 
saving the wreck of Braddock's army and by 
his conduct of the expedition against Fort Du- 
quesne, he acquired a military repute imri vailed in 

^Journals of Congress, June 3, 1775, July 8, 1775. 
^Ihid., June 15, 1775. 


The new commander-in-chief was a stalwart man, 
over six feet in stature, and of well-proportioned 
weight. His composed and dignified manner and 
his majestic walk marked him an aristocrat and a 
masterful man. This character was heightened by 
a well -shaped, though not large, head set on a 
superb neck. His blue-gray eyes, though pene- 
trating, were heavy -browed and widely separated, 
suggesting a slow and sure mind rather than wit and 
brilliant imagination. Passion and patience, nicely 
balanced, appeared in the regular, placid features, 
with the face muscles under perfect control. A 
resolutely closed mouth and a firm chin told of the 
perfect moral and physical courage. His clear and 
colorless skin never flushed even in the greatest 
emotion, though the face then became flexible and 

In Washington's mind the directive faculties were 
the more marked. He had been but half educated, 
with no culture except that coming of good compan- 
ionship. From it he had learned rather the tastes 
of a country gentleman — courtesy, hospitality, and a 
love of sport. The soundness of his judgment and 
the solidity of his information were the notable 
qualities. He had little legal learning and was too 
shy and diflident for effective speech. Of original 
statesmanship he had little, but he had ** common- 
sense lifted to the level of genius." Believing in a 
course, he followed it, single-minded, just, firm, and 
patient. No rash action or personal caprice was 


ever charged to him. He was able to bear great 
responsibility and courageously to meet unpop- 
ularity and misrepresentation. There was no flaw 
in his devotion.^ He was " often anxious, but never 
despondent." "Defeat is only a reason for exer- 
tion," he wrote. "We shall do better next time." 
This spirit, and his gift for miHtary adminis- 
tration, were the winning traits in the years to 

On June 16, 1775, the day before the Continen- 
tal army fought at Bunker Hill, Washington ac- 
cepted the command in his modest way, refusing to 
accept any pay for his services except his actual 
expenses. A week later he set out from Philadel- 
phia, and on July 3, on Cambridge Common, took 
command of his army. Of the sixteen thousand 
men about Boston, two-thirds were from Massachu- 
setts; Connecticut furnished half the rest, while 
New Hampshire and Rhode Island shared the re- 
maining fraction.^ During July Congress added 
three thousand men from Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
and Virginia. 

Washington found his army an armed mob. They 
had done creditable things, though in a blundering, 
unmilitary way. Rude lines of fortifications ex- 
tended around Boston, but they were executed with 
crude tools and without competent engineers. A 

* Mitchell, " Washington in His Letters," in University of Penn- 
sylvania Alumni Register, March, 1903. 
' Frothingham, Siege of Boston , iQi. 


few officers were looking after the commissary de- 
partment, but there was no head. No able execu- 
tive directed the recruiting and mustering service, 
or the barracks or hospital, and there was only a 
haphazard method of paying the soldiers. There 
was no uniform, and the very differences in costume 
augmented colonial jealousies and self - conscious- 
ness. Washington suggested hunting - shirts as a 
uniform, which would tend * ' to unite the men and 
abolish those provincial distinctions." 

Of the officers commissioned by Congress to serve 
under Washington few were satisfied. Charles 
Lee, a self-lauded, English military man, thought he 
should have had the chief command, and not the 
mere major-generalship, of which he was unworthy. 
The adjutant - general. Gates, was another in- 
triguing English hero who was supposed to be 
giving up his all for liberty.^ Among the eight 
brigadier - generals there was much dissatisfaction 
with their relative rank, and the minor officers 
were not above this jealousy. Washington re- 
buked one fault-finder, saying that "every post 
ought to be deemed honorable in which a man 
can serve his country." The chief, whose life 
was "one continuous round of annoyance and 
fatigue," wished more than once that he were in 
the ranks. 

The governors of New England States urged 
Washington to detach companies to protect their 

^ Hatch, Administration of the Revolutionary Army, 10, 11. 


shores from British ravages. Little expeditions to 
Nova Scotia, Canada, and elsewhere were proposed, 
but Washington wisely refused to act on this advice, 
and thereupon was accused of inattention to public 

The wisdom of his refusal to allow his army to be 
broken up, and to run the danger of defeat in small 
detachments, was shown in the result of an expedi- 
tion to Quebec. Richard Montgomery, with about 
fifteen hundred men, moved down Lake Champ- 
lain, took St. John after a long siege, ^ and entered 
Montreal November 12, 1775. Arnold, meanwhile, 
had made a terrible march through the Maine 
forests, starting up the Kennebec with eleven him- 
dred men and coming down the Chaudiere to the 
St. Lawrence with about five hundred survivors.^ 
After making an ineffectual attack on Quebec, 
Arnold awaited Montgomery, who arrived Decem- 
ber 3 with a small body of men. Taking a desper- 
ate hazard, they attacked Quebec in a blinding 
snow-storm, December 31, 1775. Montgomery, lead- 
ing the main attack, was killed, while Arnold, 
wounded, was succeeded by Morgan, who was 
overpowered, and the attack was repulsed.' In 
failing to^ take Quebec, Canada was virtually lost. 
It seems hardly possible, however, that the city 
could have been held, if captured, for the Amer- 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, III., 1342, 1392, 1595. 
' Codman, Ar7told's Expedition, 55, 133 ; Smith, Arnold's March, 
232. 3 Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, IV., 480. 


icans had no naval power adequate to its de- 

At Boston the commander-in-chief continued to 
push his hnes forward and hope for an engagement, 
for he had not powder sufficient for a bombard- 
ment. The enemy refused to be drawn out, and 
late in September Washington wrote : ' ' My situation 
is inexpressibly distressing, to see the winter fast 
approaching upon a naked army, the time of their 
service within a few weeks of expiring, and no 
provision yet made for such important events. . . . 
The military chest is totally exhausted; the pay- 
master has not a single dollar in hand; the com- 
missary-general assures me that he has strained 
his credit, for the subsistence of the army, to the 
utmost. The quartermaster-general is in precisely 
the same situation; and the greater part of the 
troops are in a state not far from mutiny, upon the 
deduction from their stated allowance." Without 
immediate remedy, he feared "the army must 
absolutely break up." ^ 

Congress finally sent a committee, which, with 
Washington, laid plans for a new army.^ In the 
reorganization Washington was driven to madness 
by the whims and jealousies of the colonial troops. 
While Charles Lee was courting favor by praising 
the militia, Washington was writing a friend: *' Such 

* Fortescue, British Army, III., 164. 

' Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), III., 146. 

•'' Force, Am. Archives, 4-th series, III., 847. 

VOL. IX.— 5 


a dearth of public spirit, and want of virtue, such 
stock - jobbing, and fertiHty in all the low arts to 
obtain advantages of one kind or another, ... I 
never saw before, and pray God I may never be 
a witness to again. . . . Such a dirty, mercenary 
spirit pervades the whole that I should not be at 
all surprised at any disaster that may happen."* 

Washington's outlook was gloomy, but within the 
besieged city the enemy, too, had troubles. With 
nobody going out and little provision coming in the 
inhabitants were soon living on a Lenten diet. Salt 
pork, pease, and an occasional fish were the principal 
food. By December there were no vegetables, flour, 
or pulse to be spared from the military stores, and 
the distress was great. ^ So serious was the want of 
fuel that fences, doors, and even houses furnished 
the supply, and at last church steeples and the old 
Liberty Tree. Cold and hunger increased disease, 
and deaths became so frequent that the bells were 
not tolled lest the sound discourage the living. The 
fear of an assault was so great that the Tories or- 
ganized military companies to aid the defence. To 
while away the time, there were masquerades and 
balls and theatres. 

This life was ended suddenly, as if by "the last 
trump." On the night of March 4, 1776, Dor- 
chester Heights were fortified by Washington. 
"Redoubts were raised," wrote a British officer, 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), HL, 246, 247. 
' Frothingham, Siege of Boston, 280-282. 




"as if by the genii belonging to Aladdin's wonderful 
lamp." Boston was now untenable. Howe hur- 
riedly embarked his army and over nine hundred 
refugee loyalists, abandoning quantities of stores, 
and sailing March 17, for Nova Scotia. 



DURING the weary months of the siege of Bos- 
ton, from the spring of 1775 to the following 
midwinter, the work of overthrowing old opinions, 
weakening traditions, and destroying American 
faith in Great Britain went on. Vigorous persecu- 
tion cowed the Tory opposition in America, the Whig 
party was strengthened by organization, and the 
advanced faction of that party gave up urging re- 
form of the British colonial policy and set a new 
goal, a demand for independence of England. The 
misunderstanding between the two parts of the em- 
pire increased, and the efforts of Parliament to over- 
come the rebellious colonies only stiffened the re- 
sistance and deepened the hate. The mistaken 
zeal or impolitic action of the colonial governors in- 
creased the area of rebellion, and lent powerful argu- 
ments to the public agitators, both speakers and 

One of the first signs of the increased ill feeling 
after Concord and Lexington was the strife between 
the Whigs and the Tories in America, As the cer- 



tainty of declared war with the mother-country in- 
creased the louder grew the protests of those who 
opposed it. Men who held office under the crown, 
the Anglican clergy, and many of the friends and 
relatives of such men had, as a rule, opposed the 
agitation from the first. Now they were joined by 
the conservative citizens, men of wealth, of social 
position, those who ''feared God and honored the 
king," and men of certain factions in the colonial 
politics whose old ties drew them to the loyal side. 
Many of the latter had been hot for reform in the 
British colonial policy, but balked at a Continental 
Congress and a war that seemed to lead logically to 
independence. They refused to act with the pa- 
triots, and in a few instances tried to organize bands 
of loyal militia, but they did little else except 
to protest against the work of the agitators and to 
send loyal addresses to the king or his representa- 

These protests and addresses, however, were very 
hateful to the intolerant masses who in the early 
days formed an active part of the Whig party. It 
required little agitation to bring out a mob ready 
to hoist a Tory on a liberty pole and jeer at him for 
his Royalty. In the spirit of the ancient Inquisition 
the Whigs tried to convert their political opponents 
by terrorizing them. They fired musket-balls into 
Tory windows. They burned loyal pamphlets at 
the stake, tarred and feathered them, or nailed 
them to a whipping-post, with a threat of treating 


the author in a like manner.* The pulpits of the 
loyal clergy were found nailed up, and Tory mer- 
chants saw the word "tea" painted out of their 
signs. Loyal farmers found their cattle painted 
fantastic colors or the tail and mane of a horse close 
cropped. One noted Tory was hoisted upon a land- 
lord's sign and exposed in company with a dead 
catamount. Another was "smoked to a Whig" by 
being shut up in a house with the chimney closed. 
All this persecution increased in violence as the ac- 
tion of Congress and the British government made 
undisguised war ever more inevitable. 

It might seem that society was getting ready for 
such revolutionary excesses as were witnessed in 
France some fifteen years later. In America, how- 
ever, firmly established local governments saved 
the people from anarchy after the central govern- 
ment lost its control ; and long-established represent- 
ative assemblies stood ready to organize and direct 
the activities of the people. 

Where the assemblies were too conservative to 
launch the revolution, the Whig leaders resorted at 
first to committees of correspondence, which had 
no place in the legally organized government. The 
loyalists, with some reason, declared^ that the 
country was "cantoned out into new districts and 
subjected to the jurisdiction of these committees, 
who, not only without any known law, but directly 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, chap. iii. 

' Boucher, A View of the Revolution, 319-321. 


in the teeth of all law whatever, issue citations, sit 
in judgment, and inflict pains and penalties on all 
whom they are pleased to consider as delinquents." 

It was these committees, or, in some cases, mere 
volimtary meetings of private citizens, that suggested 
the calling of conventions to elect delegates to the 
Continental Congress, to sanction associations for 
non-importation, and to provide for armed opposi- 
tion to the British measures. When the royal 
governors prorogued or refused to stmimon the reg- 
ular assemblies, these elective conventions, fresh 
from the people, made and executed the necessary 
laws, appointing committees or councils of safety 
to act during their adjournment.^ 

Because of a natural selection of radicals to do 
this revolutionary work, and a greater extension of 
the franchise, which Congress early advised,^ new 
men appeared in these provincial conventions — more 
democratic men than had ordinarily attended the 
regular colonial assemblies. As a result the resolu- 
tions of these conventions were often drawn up, wrote 
a Tory, "by some zealous partisan, perhaps by some 
fiery spirit ambitiously soHcitous of forcing himself 
into public notice." . . . "The orator mounts the 
rostrimi, and in some preconceived speech, heighten- 
ed no doubt with all the aggravations which the 

* Agnes Hunt, Provincial Committees of Safety, chap. iv. 

' Journals of Congress, November 3 and 4, 1775. (See the in- 
structions to the S. C. convention.) Ijincoln^ Revolutionary Move- 
ment in Pennsylvania, 234. 


fertility of his genius can suggest, exerts all the 
power of elocution to heat his audience with that 
blaze of patriotism with which he conceives him- 
self inspired.^ . . . The threat of tyranny and the 
terror of slavery are artfully set before them." 
These were revolutionary methods as they appeared 
to a loyal citizen. The whole revolutionary system 
looked like anarchy. The patriot excused it all 
on the new political theory that the people were 
the basis of all legitimate political authority. The 
regular and constitutional forms of government 
having been taken away, the right to establish new 
forms reverted to the people. 

For many months all the powers of government 
were in the hands of these temporary assemblies, 
conventions, and committees, which ''composed a 
scene of much confusion and injustice," ^ causing 
men like John Adams to fear that the system would 
"injure the morals of the people, and destroy their 
habits of order and attachment to regular govern- 
ment." Congress resolved, therefore (June 9, 1775), 
in reply to a letter from the Massachtisetts conven- 
tion,^ that no obedience being due to Parliament, the 
governor and his lieutenants were to be considered 
as absent, and as the suspension of government was 
intolerable, the provincial convention was recom- 
mended to write letters to the places entitled to 

^ Rivington's Gazette, July 28, 1774. 

'John Adams, Works, III., 34. 

* Journqls of Congress, June 9, 1775. 


representation in the assembly and request them 
to choose members. The assembly was to choose a 
council, which with the assembly was to exercise the 
powers of government until a governor appointed 
by his majesty should govern the colony according 
to its charter. By the month of July this advice 
was obeyed, and the proclamation urging obedience 
to the new government closed with, *'God save the 
people" — instead of the "king." 

In October, 1775, ^^^ delegates from New Hamp- 
shire asked Congress for advice as to the method of 
regulating their civil affairs. John Rutledge at once 
sought like counsel for South Carolina; and Con- 
gress, early in November, urged them both to es- 
tablish temporary governments of the character 
commended to Massachusetts;* and, realizing the 
necessity of enlisting the support of the democracy 
by showing it political favor. Congress also advised 
"a full and free representation of the people." ^ A 
month later Virginia was counselled likewise. 

The advice thus wrung from Congress was far 
short of the wishes of John Adams and the indepen- 
dence party, which was growing slowly with the 
march of events. Adams wanted the people of 
every colony to call conventions immediately and 
set up permanent governments on their own au- 
thority. He wished to invite ''the people to erect 
the whole building with their own hands, upon 

* Journals of Congress, November 3 and 4, 1775. 
' Frie4enwald, Declaration of Independence, 3^. 


the broadest foundation."^ The delegates in Con- 
gress could not be brought so far on the road to 
independence, but Adams found consolation while 
he waited. "America is a great, unwieldy body," 
he wrote. "Its progress must be slow. It is Hke 
a large fleet sailing under convoy. The fleetest 
sailers must wait for the dullest and slowest. Like 
a coach-and-six, the swiftest horses must be slack- 
ened, and the slowest quickened, that all may keep 
an even pace." ^ 

Day by day events spurred on the hesitating 
members and strengthened the convictions of the 
radicals. The petition to the king which Dickinson 
had persuaded the unwilling Congress to send was 
refused even a hearing (August, 1775). The king's 
minister explained to a critical ParHament that '* the 
softness of the language was purposely adapted to 
conceal the most traitorous designs." ^ This re- 
peated insinuation that the colonies desired in- 
dependence became an incentive. Like the witches' 
prophetic words to Macbeth, the suggestion grew 
to a desire. 

Furthermore, the perfectly natural acts of the 
British government to quell a rebellion which any 
one could see existed exasperated the colonists to 
further revolutionary action. After the news of 
Bunker Hill reached England, the king, of course, 
issued a proclamation (August 23, 1775) urging his 

^ John Adams, Works, III., 13-16. ^ Ibid., I,, 176. 

3 Hansard Debates, XVIII., 920. 


lo^^al subjects to aid in quelling the rebellion, yet 
when Congress learned of the fact (November i) the 
members were horrified. At the same time came the 
news of the burning of Falmouth, in Maine, by a 
British naval expedition/ It was a cruel and un- 
necessary act, which was disowned by the British 
government, but not until, Hnked with the burning 
of Charlestown during the battle of Bunker Hill, it 
became a symbol to Americans of British barbarity. 
Thus misunderstanding on both sides of the sea was 
rapidly breaking the unity of feeling which alone 
could hold the parts of the empire together. 

Though the impending war could not be said to 
be popular in England, yet addresses were pouring 
in upon the king expressing British ''abhorrence of 
the rebellious spirit" of the "deluded subjects in 
America." Some of the more loyal addresses are 
said to have been elicited by the efforts of the 
ministry.^ The compliant addressers regretted that 
"daring and open rebellion had broken out," la- 
mented "the infatuation of those deluded men," 
and assured the king of their hearty support in as- 
serting his authority.^ From Robert Burns's county 
in Scotland the noblemen, justices, and freeholders 
sent their approval of the king's measures. The 
chancellor and masters and scholars of the Uni- 
versity of Oxford, in full convocation, viewed "with 

* Journals of Congress, November i, December 6, 1775. 

' Trevelyan, American Revolution, pt. ii., I., 11-15. 

' FoTce, Am. Archives, 4th series, III., index under "Addresses." 


deep concern, the pernicious tendency of that 
profligate licentiousness" which had deluded their 
"fellow-subjects in America," ''by these seducing 
arts betrayed ; plunged, as they are, in all the hor- 
rours of a civil war, uifhaturally commenced against 
the state which gave them birth and protection."* 

All was not harmonious, however, in the British 
islands, and the Americans had not only economic 
but political S5mipathy among their fellow-subjects 
oversea. From sundry places where the commercial 
losses pressed most heavily came other and perhaps 
more genuine voices urging upon the king " the deadly 
wounds which the commerce of this country must 
feel from these unfortunate measures." The manu- 
facturers of Nottingham, Worcester, and Newcastle 
were alarmed by the "melancholy decline" of their 
trade and manufacture.^ The freeholders of the 
county of Berks took the most sympathetic stand. 
They themselves valued the "inestimable right of 
granting " their own property, and could not con- 
sider groundless the complaint of America "on 
being taxed without any voice." 

In Parliament, however, this opposition had 
little strength, and, before the close of 1775, acts were 
passed closing all American ports and ordering the 
seizure and confiscation of all ships trading with 
the colonies.^ Unfortunately for their own record 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, III., 11 88. 

* Ibid., III., loio, 1113, 1201, 1383, 1519. 

* Commons' Journal, XXXV., December 22, 1775. 


they added a clause which offended mortally the new 
ideas of personal liberty. British commanders were 
permitted to impress the crews of American vessels 
seized under the law and compel them, like mutineers, 
to serve on the British vessel^ until the return to an 
English port/ 

While the news of this legislation was making 
its way oversea, the southern colonies were being 
brought to more lively sympathy with New Eng- 
land. The governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, 
had been unpopular from his first arrival four years 
before. He early resolved to crush the spirit of 
rebellion which he saw about him. When in 1774 
the assembly sympathized with Boston, Lord 
Dunmore summoned, rebuked, and dissolved them. 
Though the worthy burgesses went to the governor's 
ball that night, they first assembled at the Raleigh 
tavern, and, after resolving against the use of tea, 
proposed an annual congress of the colonies.^ 

Later, a convention was called without a royal war- 
rant. It met August 1,1774, just before an assembly 
legally summoned by the governor, and appointed 
members to the Continental Congress. Besides this 
action, the people, as Dunmore informed his govern- 
ment, were everywhere arming and swearing in men 
to execute the orders of their illegal committees. 
The convention met again, March 20, 1775, and its 
chief act was crowned, if not caused, by Patrick 

^Statutes at Large, 31; 16 George III., chap, v., § 4. 
'Henry, Life, Correspondence, and Speeches, I., 176-182. 


Henry's famous burst of oratory, a rash but inspir- 
ing call to arms. The alarmed governor caused the 
stores of powder to be removed from the old magazine 
at Williamsburg. In their wrath the people held 
councils, discussed the matter hotly, and threatened 
to attack the palace. A messenger to the governor 
found rows of muskets lying on the floor ready to arm 
the household, but the removal of the gunpowder 
was lamely explained.^ 

Then for a season Lord and Lady Dunmore with 
their daughters remained shut up in their palace at 
Williamsburg, while the governor wrote his king 
offering to reduce the colony with Indians, negroes, 
and loyal citizens. Meanwhile, Patrick Henry and a 
company of men marched on the capitol to rescue 
the powder. Lady Dunmore and her daughters 
thereupon hurried off to Yorktown and got aboard 
a man-of-war. The governor remained and agreed 
to pay for the powder, though at the same time he 
issued a proclamation against the company that had 
''unlawfully taken up arms."^ In May, 1775, he 
issued writs for a new assembly, which duly met, 
accoutred with hunting - shirts and rifles instead of 
the accustomed ruffles and powder. A plan of con- 
ciliation was offered, but while they pondered the 
people were enraged by the discovery of a trap laid 
at the old magazine to kill any who should try to 

* Henry, Life, Correspondence, and Speeches, L, 265-266; 
Force, Am. Archives, 4tli series, II., 371, 387. 
UUd., II., 516. III., 1385, 


get the powder, and with threats and curses they 
gathered about the palace. 

The governor thereupon fled to a man-of-war — as 
other American governors had been or soon were 
compelled to do. He summoned the loyal to come 
to his standard, and allured some to come on board 
his vessels, where by means of liberal bounties and 
threats he induced a few to enlist. He then pro- 
claimed the province in a state of war,* and offered 
freedom to the slaves, though he might as well have 
offered to liberate the oxen from their yokes. With 
armed vessels he ravaged the banks of the rivers, 
until a considerable force was defeated at Great 
Bridge, when in his rage he caused Norfolk to be 
burned on January i, 1776. The painful scene of 
women and children running from burning houses 
amid the cannonading from the governor's fleet 
aroused not only Virginians but all America to a 
great heat of passion. 

When this news reached Washington at Boston,^ 
there came with it a pamphlet, just issued at 
Philadelphia, called ''Common Sense," a firebrand 
which set aflame the ready political material in 
America. It said what many men were thinking, 
but had no words to express. The writer, Thomas 
Paine, had been but thirteen months in America. 
He had been reared in England, a Quaker and a dis- 
senter, living where he had seen the corrupting in- 

^ Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, III., 1385. 
2 Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), III., 396. 


fluence of aristocracy, of which he himself had been 
a victim. His school life ceased at the age of thir- 
teen. He became a stay-maker, excise officer, grocer, 
usher, enjoying for a time in London some philo- 
sophical lectures and the friendship of an astrono- 
mer who was a member of the Royal Society.* Rest- 
lessly he turned from teaching and writing poetry 
to entertain a social club, to further study, and then 
to preaching, without, how^ever, taking orders. He 
chanced to make the acquaintance of Franklin, 
and with his letter of introduction he came at 
last to America, hoping to find employment as a 

He found the people of America, as he said, ready 
to be "led by a thread and governed by a reed," just 
the crisis to appeal to one of his character. Always 
an enthusiast, with a generous and almost unrea- 
soning zeal for liberty, he entered eagerly into the 
controversy. The poetry of his early years was 
transmuted into glowing visions of an ideal society. 
His whole character and training made him the man 
for the occasion. This zealot in charity, lover and 
maker of music, shallow in scholarship but deep in 
sympathy, was more fit than many wiser men to 
arouse America to the final act of independence. 
He wrote in living phrases, with a rapid movement 
and clear statement that secures readers where a 
worthier thinker fails. Though "Common Sense" 
helped John Adams's cause, he was compelled, never- 

* Conway, Thomas Paine, I., 15. 


theless, to admit that "Sensible men think there are 
some whims, some sophisms, some artful addresses 
to superstitious notions, some keen attempts upon 
the passions, in this pamphlet." ^ It contained, it is 
true, many shallow arguments, but they were as 
deep as the thought of those who would read them. 
There was scurrility, but it had great effect with cer- 
tain classes. Deeper than all the superficial defects 
was a strong, keen analysis of the real state of affairs 
between England and her colonies. 

With a fine perception of the greatest obstacle to 
independence, Paine attacked the sacred person of 
the king. In the public papers and petitions much 
stress had been laid on the assertions of personal 
loyalty ; it was Parliament whose dominion they de- 
nied, not the king's. Paine, however, ridiculed the 
divine right of kings. They were chosen, he de- 
clared, because of a "ruffianly pre-eminence." 
"The heathen introduced government by kings, 
which the will of the Almighty . . . expressly disap- 
proved. As to their hereditary descent, how absurd ! 
We do not think of attempting to establish an hered- 
itary wise man, or an hereditary mathematician, 
or an hereditary poet. Of more worth is one honest 
man to society . . . than all the crowned ruffians that 
ever lived." Of what use are they? he asked. "In 
England a king has little more to do than make war 
and give away places." The king is a "breathing 
automaton," a "sceptred savage," a "royal brute." 

* John Adams, Familiar Letters, 146. 

VOL. IX. — 6 


Government, indeed, was a necessary evil, Paine 
granted, but why have it in its worst form — a royal 
government ? 

Nor had Paine any praise for the British constitu- 
tion. The security and happiness of the English 
people, he urged, were not due to constitutional 
forms, but to the character of the people. The gov- 
ernment might be as despotic as that of Turkey, 
except that the people would not endure it; the 
lauded checks and balances were worthless. Amer- 
icans need not hope to mend the old constitution; 
they must rid themselves of that and set up a new 
form of government. At present, said Paine, we 
are ** suffering like the wretched Briton under the 
oppression of the conqueror." 

Having thus artfully sneered at colonial traditions 
and long-established opinions, Paine appealed to 
colonial vanity. ''There is something absurd in 
supposing a continent to be perpetually governed 
by an island; in no instance hath nature made the 
satelHte larger than the primary planet. Even the 
distance at which the Almighty hath placed Eng- 
land and America is a strong and natural proof that 
the authority of the one over the other was never 
the design of Heaven." This, at the time, was a 
strong argument in favor of independence. John 
Adams declared in one of his letters home: ''There is 
something very unnatural and odious in a govern- 
ment a thousand leagues off. A whole government 
of our own choice, managed by persons whom we 


love, revere, and can confide in, has charms in it for 
which men will fight." ^ 

The arguments of the imperialists were set aside 
by Paine with scorn. ''Much has been said of the 
united strength of Britain and the colonies, that in 
conjunction they might bid defiance to the world. 
What have we to do with setting the world at defi- 
ance? Our plan is commerce . . . and friendship 
with the world." 

All these arguments were w^hat America wanted 
to hear. It was hard to find a printer bold enough 
to print them; but once out, the pamphlet sold by 
the hundred thousand copies. Paine himself got 
none of the proceeds of the sale, and, though he was 
glorified for the time, he lived to be hooted years 
later by an American mob as he drove past placards 
showing the devil flying away with him.^ The rea- 
son for this change of popularity was his late deis- 
tical book. The Age of Reason, differing in no wise 
from the religious views of Franklin and Jefferson. 
There were unlovable things about Paine, vain and 
egotistic as he was at times, but "the man who had 
genius in his eyes," and who was ever busy trying 
to soften the lot of the oppressed, is not unworthy 
of respect. 

* John Adams, Familiar Letters, 174. 
2 Qonway, Thomas Paine, II., 327. 



A FTER the people had been trained to look with 
/v composure upon the idea of independence, 
there still remained the task of getting each colony 
to give its approval of a formal declaration. Paine 
had pointed out that the colonies had now ^'trav- 
elled to the summit of inconsistency." They were 
in full rebellion, had an army and navy of their own, 
and governments that ignored Parliament or the 
king, but still they asserted their aversion to in- 
dependence. They had, Paine warned them, ac- 
quired an "autumnal ripeness" — "now your rotting 
time comes on'' * More careful men, however, 
thought matters not so ripe, insisting that Con- 
gress, a mere advisory body, should take no such 
radical step as independence without first receiving 
explicit instructions from each of the colonies. 
The five middle colonies, however, had instructed 
their delegates against independence ; and the month 
of March, 1776, was gone before any state gave its 
approval. To North Carolina, impelled by the trend 
* Conway, Thomas Paine, I., 75. 



of local events, belongs the honor of first instructing 
her delegates for independence. 

Governor Martin, of that province, was a plain, 
honest, but impolitic man, inclined to be jealous 
of his predecessor, Governor Tryon. The latter, in 
1 77 1, had overthrown a rebellion, in the western 
part of the state, of frontiersmen known as " Regu- 
lators." Governor Martin, taking up the adminis- 
tration a few months later, curried favor with the 
late rebels, while by his criticism of Tryon he lost the 
esteem of the lawyers and prominent public men in 
the coast towns. ^ He quarrelled with the colonial 
assembly over the state's western boundary, and 
over the taxes to pay for the expense of quelling the 
late rebellion. Another serious dispute closed the 
courts and threw the lawyers out of business. All 
the forces thus antagonized turned against him, 
and his personality not only prevented his stem- 
ming the tide of revohition but tended alarmingly 
to increase that movement. 

When Boston appealed to the other colonies in 
1774, the speaker of the North Carolina assembly 
called a Provincial Congress in spite of the threats of 
the governor. Many of the members of that con- 
gress proved to be members also of a regular assem- 
bly called by the governor. The governor protested 
in vain against the irregular body, dissolved the 
regular assembly, and fortified his palace; but the 

* Sikes, Transition of North Carolina from Colony to Common^ 
wealth (Johns Hopkins University Studies, XVI., Nos. 10, 11). 


local revolutionary committee seized his cannon, and 
he was obliged to flee to Fort Johnson, near Wil- 
mington. The wrath of the people soon drove him 
on board a British man-of-war, whence, in August 
of 1775, he issued what was called ''the Fiery Proc- 
lamation," which was promptly ordered to be burned 
b}?' the common hangman/ 

Relying on the loyalty of the central and western 
counties, which had in the spring sent Governor 
Martin a loyal address signed by one thousand five 
hundred men, he had already urged that the British 
troops be sent to co-operate with the loyal citizens 
in overthrowing the rebellion. Accordingly, Sir 
Henry Clinton left Boston in December, 1775, 
planning to meet Sir Peter Parker with two thousand 
men and eight frigates at Cape Fear.^ Meanwhile, 
Donald McDonald, who had once been punished for 
rebellion on the field of Culloden, was commissioned 
by the governor, and collected an army of one 
thousand six himdred men from the loyal counties. 
He marched towards the coast to meet the British 
forces, but was met (February 27, 1776) by a patriot 
force at Moore's Creek and signally defeated, the 
patriots taking quantities of gold and arms and nine 
hundred prisoners.^ 

Within a fortnight ten thousand militia were 
ready to repel Clinton, who was delayed until the 

* AT. C. Col. Records, IX., 1125, 1145, 1178, X., 141-150. 

* Fortescue, British Army, III., 173, 180, 181. 

* N. C. Col. Records, X., 41-50, 482. 


middle of April awaiting Parker, and then after 
hovering about Cape Fear for six weeks sailed away 
southward to Charleston. This episode so aroused 
the people that when the next Provincial Congress 
met the members were "all up for independence," 
and on April 12, eight days after convening, they 
voted to instruct their delegates to concur with dele- 
gates from the other colonies in declaring indepen- 
dence and forming foreign alliances/ 

The news of the great loyal uprising in North 
Carolina and the threatening conditions elsewhere 
led the Continental Congress to another revolution- 
ary step. March 14, 1776, it advised the disarm- 
ing of the loyalists, "to frustrate the mischievous 
machinations and restrain the wicked practices of 
these men." ^ A few days later, upon hearing of the 
British measures for closing American ports, Con- 
gress permitted Americans to fit out private armed 
vessels to prey on British commerce.^ Within 
two weeks it opened the ports of America to all 
countries "not subject to the king of Great Brit- 
ain." John Adams was jubilant. "As to declara- 
tions of independency," he wrote, "be patient. 
Read our privateering laws and our commercial 
laws. What signifies a word?" * 

Daily the Continental Congress heard of new tem- 

* N. C. Col. Records, X., 512. 
^Journals of Congress, January 2, 1776. 
^ Ibid., March 23, 1776. 
*John Adams, Familiar Letters, 155. 


porary colonial governments and of instructions 
which, when the proper time came, might be in- 
terpreted as authorizing the delegates to vote for 
independence. Georgia, or rather a small mmiber 
of revolutionists in Savannah, had instructed her 
new delegates, February 2, to "concur in all such 
measures as you shall think calculated for the com- 
mon good." * Late in March, vSouth Carolina gave 
her delegates a like ambiguous liberty, though the 
will of the province seems to have been against in- 
dependence.^ May 4, Rhode Island omitted the 
king's name from the public documents, and con- 
curred *with any action of the Congress for holding 
the colonies together and annoying the common 
enemy; but her delegate in Congress was disappoint- 
ed not to have plain instructions on the matter of 
independence.^ The June meetings in the towns 
of Massachusetts voted to uphold a declaration of 

In Congress the power of the radicals increased 
daily, and they extended it by correspondence, by 
resolutions intended to fire the patriot mind, by 
personal visits of the members to lagging assemblies, 
or by using the army to bolster weak revolutionary 
committees, who were fearful of being overwhelmed 
by local loyal majorities. 

To aid the radicals in hesitating colonies, Con- 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, VI., 1674. 

' McCrady, South Carolina in the Revolution (1775-1780), 125. 
»/?. /. Col. Records, VII., 526, 527. 

* Force, Am. Archives^ 4th series, VI., 698-707. 


gress adopted a resolution, May 10, 1776, which, as 
John Adams declared, ''cut the Gordian knot." 
Colonies having "no government sufficient to the 
exigencies of their affairs " were urged to adopt 
such a government. The meaning of this was made 
plain by a preamble adopted five days later which 
declared that it was imreasonable for the people to 
take oaths to support a British government, and 
that every species of that authority ought to be 
totally suppressed and government carried on 
under the authority of the people of the colonies.^ 
Adams was delighted at this ''last step," though his 
opponent, Duane, denounced it as a " piece of mech- 
anism to work out independence." Only a formal 
declaration was now needed, and the day for that was 
at hand. 

In Virginia, where the revolutionary spirit had 
grown rapidly since the burning of Norfolk, a con- 
vention had already been called which was to give 
its constituents a new government.^ May 15, a 
resolution was adopted directing the Virginia dele- 
gates in Congress to propose that the united colo- 
nies be declared free and independent states. In 
obedience to these instructions, Richard Henry Lee 
rose in Congress, Jtme 7, to move "That these 
united colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free 
and independent states," and their connection with 
Great Britain dissolved. He proposed also that a 

^Journals of Congress, May 15, 1776. 
' Hening, Statutes, May 6, 1776. 


plan of confederation be submitted to the several 
colonies and that foreign alliances be formed. So 
treasonable were these resolutions that the prudent 
Congress did not then enter them even on its secret 
journals, and nothing but a slip of paper now pre- 
serves the original form. 

Nevertheless, John Adams, now dubbed "The 
Atlas of Independence," seconded the motion 
promptly, though Dickinson and Wilson, of Penn- 
sylvania, resisted desperately, for they knew that 
public opinion in the middle colonies was not ripe 
for such a measure — in fact, their delegates were 
instructed against it. Moreover, even Connecticut 
and New Hampshire had not instructed on that 
question, and with Georgia and South Carolina 
dubious, there were but four state delegations that 
could rightfully favor such a motion. As the con- 
servatives argued, if the delegates of a colony had 
no power to declare it independent, others could not 
so declare it, "for the colonies were as yet per- 
fectly independent of each other." ^ For the sake 
of harmony the eager independence faction agreed 
to wait three weeks for the judgment of the hesitat- 
ing provinces, but meanwhile a committee was to 
draw up a formal declaration. 

While they waited, Connecticut, whose charter 

rights had already made her nearly independent of 

Great Britain, simply omitted the king's name from 

her public papers, and instructed her willing dele- 

* Jefferson, Works (Washington ed.), I., 113. 


gates to support Lee's motion. In her case and that 
of New Hampshire, who quickly followed her ex- 
ample (June 15), the act was purely formal, for they 
had long been with the advance party. The re- 
luctant middle colonies were still to be converted, 
but the radicals in Congress were equal to the task, 
and they were aided by news from England. Public 
opinion had recently received another great im- 
petus to independence by the arrival of authentic 
news that the king had succeeded in making a 
treaty with certain German princes for twenty 
thousand troops to be used in subduing the re- 
bellious colonies.* In America all the odium of 
this transaction was put upon the king instead 
of upon the mercenary German princes who sold 
their subjects into bondage. Samuel Adams urged 
the colonists to note that their petitions were to 
be answered by myrmidons hired from abroad. 
Washington hoped that it would convert those who 
were " still feeding themselves upon the dainty food 
of reconciliation." ^ It did, in fact, go as far as 
any single cause in deciding the wavering states to 
uphold independence. 

The wish of the radical party v/as now gained 
through the support given by Congress to the 
radicals in the backward colonies.^ New Jersey, 
held back by a strong loyal party led by the gov- 

^ Journals of Congress, May 21, 1776. 

'Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), III., 403. 

' Friedenwald, Declaration of Independence, chap. iii. 


ernor, William Franklin, at first commanded her 
delegates to vote against independence. They 
had even resolved on a petition of their own to 
the king, but abandoned the idea upon the earn- 
est protest of a committee sent to them by Con- 
gress/ June 10, the Provincial Congress, act- 
ing upon the recommendation of May 10 and on 
petitions from the people, met to devise a new gov- 
ernment. The governor tried to defeat them by 
calling together the old, regular assembly, but the 
revolutionary body denounced his act, stopped his 
salary, and sent him imder arrest to a Connecticut 
prison.^ June 22 they authorized their new dele- 
gates to agree to independence. 

Pennsylvania and her powerful representatives 
had held back the independence flood more than any 
colony except New York. A keen observer thought 
that the Quakers and Germans, a large element of 
Pennsylvania population, had too great regard for 
ease and property to sacrifice either upon the 
altar of the imknown goddess. Liberty.' Both 
elements also disliked the military service, while 
the Quakers denounced the putting down of kings 
and governments, asserting that such action was 
God's prerogative, not men's; and they annotmced 
their abhorrence of measures tending to indepen- 
dence. The proprietary interests, too, were ably 

* Mulford, History of New Jersey, 415,416; Force, Am. Ar chive Sy 
4th series, III., 1871-1874. 

* N, J. Archives, X., 720. * Curwen's Journal, 26. 


defended, though side by side with the constitution- 
al government had arisen conventions representing 
the radical Whigs, who had lost control of the 
regular assembly. A system of local committees, 
legally responsible to no one, but elected by the 
people and guided by Whig leaders, assumed the 
right to choose delegates to these conventions. 
The regular assembly resisted the transfer of power 
to these conventions, by legislating as the radicals 
desired, but doing nothing. The day came when 
something more than words was demanded. A 
new election in April, 1776, turned against the 
radicals, and convinced the people that they could 
not have their will under the existing regime, for 
the conservative majority had been secured by a 
jealous though legal restriction of the suffrage.' 

The Pennsylvania democracy, turning now for 
aid to Congress, was answered by the resolution of 
May 10, which advised the creation of new govern- 
ments. An opponent had objected that the people 
would thus be thrown into a state of nature. Acting 
as if this were true, a meeting of some four thousand 
people in the state-house yard at Philadelphia re- 
buked the legal assembly for refusing to instruct for 
independence. The loyalists were then cowed by a 
reign of terror, and a Whig convention agreed, 
June 24, to concur in a vote of Congress declaring 
the colonies free and independent.^ Delaware had 

* Lincoln, Revolutionary Movement in Pennsylvania ^ 234. 
'Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, VI., 963. 


meanwhile acted upon the suggestion of Congress as 
to forming a new government, but she gave her dele- 
gates no definite instructions as to independence.^ 

Maryland, with few grievances of her own and 
blessed with a governor who was loved and respect- 
ed, was pleased with her proprietary government, 
and saw no reason why she should risk her charter 
in a vain chase of some abstract rights.^ The im- 
portance of the charters in restraining the revolu- 
tionary movement is not to be ignored. Massachu- 
setts could afiiord to be extreme and revolutionary 
because her charter was gone, but Pennsylvania and 
Maryland and the southern colonies had something 
to lose, and naturally held back. Maryland had 
shown a sympathetic interest in the plight of Boston, 
and a convention representing the people of the 
colony organized commercial and armed opposition 
to the British measures. At first the governor's 
influence was little diminished; but the people's 
power gradually rose, until (May 24, 1776) the pro- 
visional government signified to Governor Eden that 
public safety and quiet required his departure. A 
complimentary address was sent him, and he alone 
of all the royal governors was allowed to depart in 
peace, with the wish that he might return to his people 
after they should become reconciled with England. 

Maryland's delegates in Congress were still in- 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, VI., 884. 

' TPie Provisional Government of Maryland (Johns Hopkins 
University Studies, XIII., No. 10), 


structed against independence, and the Maryland 
Council of Safety, unwilling to take upon themselves 
the responsibility of changing the instructions, sug- 
gested that the local committees ''collect the sense 
of the people" and report to a convention called 
for June 21/ The delegates in Congress, Matthew 
Tilghman, Thomas Johnson, and Samuel Chase, 
hurried home from Philadelphia, and, with Charles 
Carroll, urged the people, while electing their 
deputies to the convention, to instruct them for in- 
dependence. The result was that within a week 
after the convention met they directed their dele- 
gates in Congress to join in declaring ''the tmited 
colonies free and independent states." 

On the very day that Maryland was showing her 
honorable sympathy with the other colonies South 
Carolina was being won from probable opposition 
to real support of independence. When Sir Henry 
Clinton and Sir Peter Parker turned away from Cape 
Fear they sailed for Charleston, the chief city of 
South Carolina, where they hoped to succeed in 
arousing the loyal merchants of the coast towns 
and the German settlers of the interior. The latter, 
with no commerce and little use for tea, had no 
appreciation of the theoretical questions, and, in 
fact, were better treated by the British than by 
the state government, which was in the hands of the 

* The Provisional Government of Maryland {Johns Hopkins 
University Studies, XIII., No. 10), 518; Md. Archives, Journal 
of Council of Safety, 478, 490, 492. 


people of the coast region, and which had denied 
them local law courts, as well as representation in the 
Commons House of Assembly/ From Charleston 
CHnton hoped to summon these loyal people to his 

Edward Rutledge, the chief of the provisional 
government, prepared with some six thousand 
militia to defend the city; and Colonel Moultrie, 
commanding a fortress of palmetto logs and banks 
of sand on Sullivan's Island, was sure that he could 
prevent the enemy entering the harbor. He was 
ridiculed by Charles Lee, who had been sent south 
to direct this defence. Rutledge, however, sup- 
ported Moultrie, who, easy and careless and un- 
soldierly as he was, could fight. The British fleet 
attacked the fort, and all day (June 28, 1776) poured 
cannon-balls into the loose sand or yielding palmetto, 
but did little harm,^ while the slow, careful fire 
of the defenders swept the British decks with 
frightful carnage. Parker withdrew his vessels at 
last, only to learn that Clinton, who had landed 
with two thousand men on a sand-bank, hoping to 
wade a shallow inlet and thus attack Sullivan's 
Island, had found seven feet of water and myriads 
of mosquitoes. Charleston was saved, and in the 
flush of victory all moderate counsels were brushed 
aside, and South Carolina was in a mood to h#ar 
with favor should Congress declare independence. 

* McCrady, South Carolina in the Revolution (17 7 5-1 7 80), 33. 
34. ' Ibid., 137-162. 


July I, when Lee's motion was again taken up in 
Congress, favorable though not positive instructions 
had been received from every colony except New 
York. As a commercial state with but one port, the 
effect of war with England would be the ruin of her 
prosperity, while the importance of that port from a 
military point of view would make it the centre of 
the conflict. Its spacious and unprotected harbor 
exposed the city of New York to the British fleets, 
while the failure of the Canadian expedition left 
the state now open to invasion from the north. 
The Indians, too, were a menace on the frontier. 
Every material consideration, in fact, seemed to 
warn New York to avoid the struggle. These 
reasons and certain party animosities due to 
political conditions antedating the Revolution had 
developed a strong loyal party in the state, which 
prevented the patriot party from getting New 
York's delegates instructed for independence in 
time to vote for it with the other colonies. 

When Congress took up Lee's motion, the New 
Jersey delegates wanted to hear it discussed. After 
a silence, during which all eyes were turned on 
John Adams, the great advocate rose. He began 
with a "flourish" about the great "orators of 
Athens and Rome," but upon closing his "not very 
bright exordium" continued in simple phrase to 
set forth the justice, the necessity, and the advan- 
tages of a separation from Great Britain.^ He spoke 
* Bancroft, United States, VIII., 452. 

VOL. IX. — 7 


of America's petitions neglected and insulted, of the 
mercenary German troops, of the king's vindictive 
spirit, and finally of the prospects of glory and 
happiness which opened beyond the war to a free 
and independent people.^ As he spoke "he was 
not graceful, nor elegant, nor remarkably fluent, but 
he came out occasionally with a power of thought 
and expression " that moved men from their seats.^ 

To this speech John Dickinson replied. He 
showed his doubting, imselfish, yet anxious frame of 
mind in his exordium, for he invoked the Governor 
of the Universe so to influence the minds of the 
members that if the proposed measure was for the 
benefit of America nothing which he should say 
against it might make the least impression.^ His 
chief objection was to the haste and the lack of 
caution. Let the military campaign deci'de the 
controversy. The resolution that the colonies are 
independent will not strengthen the patriot cause 
by a man, but it will expose the soldiers to additional 
cruelty and outrage. Try America's strength before 
putting her where to recede is infamy and to persist 
may be destruction. 

A strong reason for independence had been the 
necessity of showing that foreign nations might 
venture to ally themselves with the new sovereignty. 
Nations would not wish to establish the precedent of 

* Ramsay, American Revolution, I., 339. 

' Jefferson, in Curtis, Life of Webster, I,, 589. 

'Ramsay, American Revolution, I., 339. 


aiding even an enemy's revolting subjects. To this 
argument Dickinson could only reply that success 
in the field, not a resolution of independence, would 
gain foreign aid ; that success was the only evidence 
of union and vigor. Let us form oiu: government, 
said he, and agree to terms of a confederation be- 
fore assuming sovereignty. Settle the existing dis- 
putes between colonies, and make firm our union — 
then let America " advance with majestic steps, and 
assume her station among the sovereigns of the 
world." ^ 

When th-e debate was closed the New York 
members were excused from voting. A tie lost the 
Delaware vote, while Pennsylvania and South 
Carolina opposed the motion. The resolution was 
agreed to by the nine remaining states, but on a 
promise of unanimity the final question was post- 
poned a day. Meanwhile, Rodney, of Delaware, had 
been sent for post-haste, and on July 2 his vote 
placed Delaware in the affirmative. Dickinson and 
Robert Morris absented themselves, thus changing 
Pennsylvania's vote.^ The South Carolina delegates, 
though they had no news of the change wrought 
by the victory at Charleston, risked the disavowal 
of their constituents and gave their approval. 

* This in general is what the debaters said. We know only 
by tradition what Adams said, .and Dickinson's speech is partly 
tradition and partly extracts from his Vindication, written in 1 783 . 
See Stille, Life and Writings of John Dickinson, I., App. V., 373. 

'Chamberlain, "Authentication of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence," in J. Adams, 99, 


New York's delegates dared not take the risks 
which at least four other delegations had taken. 
A great question had been decided, declared John 
Adams, "a greater, perhaps, never was nor will 
be decided among men." 

The rest of that day and the two following were 
spent by Congress in wrangling over the form in 
which this declaration was to go out to the world. 
Since June 11, it had been in preparation by a 
committee, which had intrusted the draughting to 
Thomas Jefferson, one of the three youngest men in 
Congress. From the Virginia House of Burgesses 
and one of its revolutionary conventions he had 
come up to Philadelphia with a literary reputation 
due to a rather clever statement of the colonial 
arguments in a pamphlet called a " Summary View " ^ 
— full of rebellious spirit, generalization, and dec- 
lamation — which got him an honorable position 
on a British list of American traitors. In person 
he was the "lean and grinning Cassius," whom the 
Tories believed typical of the members of the 
Continental Congress. His nearly six feet and a 
quarter of sinew and bone, his unhandsome but 
pleasant and intelligent face, and his sandy hair 
seemed to mark him a born democrat. 

Yet he was born in the outer circle of Virginia 

aristocracy, and though admitted to patrician 

rights by the social position of his mother, he had 

only a democratic sneer for his pedigree. His early 

» Jefferson, Works (Ford's ed.), I., 429, 


home in the democratic back country had made him 
the life enemy of the tide-water aristocracy. Rid- 
ing and shooting and a dangerous fondness for the 
fiddle did not prevent him satisfying, with the zeal 
of a fanatic, an evident thirst for knowledge. 
Natural philosophy, mathematics, and law, mingled 
with the classics, pleased him most. Thus equipped, 
he thought and talked sensibly enough, as a rule, 
but at times his mind juggled with ideas and 
theories, and his enemies called him a . dreamer, 
"visionary" and "unsound in principles." As his 
pet theories showed, he was a doctrinaire rather 
than a statesman. The theory attracted him more 
than the practical statesmanship. As a common 
man he would have been a crank, but he raised 
idiosyncrasy to the dignity of genius. 

No more suitable man could have been chosen to 
draught the great announcement of independence. It 
would bring upon America a fierce war, but Jefferson 
believed that "the tree of liberty must be refreshed 
from time to time with the blood of patriots and 
tyrants ! " He liked * * a little rebellion now and then . ' * 
Again, though no strong system of government was 
yet provided to replace that to be destroyed, Jef- 
ferson was never a friend to a very energetic govern- 
ment; he liked to see the reins hanging loosely. 
He considered that the only safe depositaries of 
government were the people themselves — that is, the 
democrats, for aristocracy he held to be " an aban- 
doned confederacy against the happiness of the 


mass of the people." If these ideas were not yet 
clear in Jefferson's mind they were none the less his 
directing intuitions. 

In respect to all the great principles that were 
formulated in the declaration, Jefferson felt as the 
people felt for whom he was to write this democratic 
manifesto. He used their language and their ideas. 
The production was not original, for originality would 
have been fatal. ^ It must express the thoughts 
familiar to all or it would not be accepted by all. 
As a contemporary said, " Into the monumental act 
of independence" Jefferson ''poured the soul of the 
continent." ^ The expression of the political ideas 
must be familiar, that it might more easily flow into 
the worn channels of English thought and find no 
hindrance. To get the approval of all, it must have 
all the opinions and passions, all the beliefs and 
prejudices, the sentiments and misconceptions which 
had driven the American people to the act of 

Of course Jefferson did not state the other side 
of the controversy. Had he presented moderate 
and judicial statements of the opposing theories he 
would not have attained his purpose. The startling 
array of charges against the king could not be 
modified by acknowledging that the king's tyranny 
for the most part consisted in trying to subdue his 
rebellious colonists. Neither could attention be 

^ Tyler, Literary History of the American Revolution, I., 506, 
507. 2 Stiles, Conn. Election Sermon (1783), 46. 


called to the fact that most of these charges con- 
cerned acts incident to the suppression of rebellion, 
while the remainder had to do with the establish- 
ment of the imperial policy, which was not neces- 
sarily an undesirable end.* 

Finally, if there was in the enumeration of self- 
evident truths some indefensible political philosophy, 
it was at least the prevailing thought of the age. 
Taken in their right sense, the ideas are not un- 
worthy of any age, insisting as they do upon the 
dignity of nature, man's sacred person and 
indestructible rights — life, liberty, and happiness. 
If governments were not instituted for that end in a 
golden age that is past, it is well that such shall be 
their object in the future. 

On the evening of July 4, after much ''acrimoni- 
ous criticism," under which the author writhed in 
silence, the declaration, trimmed to briefer, more 
dispassionate, and more exact form, was adopted 
by twelve states. On the following day copies 
signed only by the president, John Hancock, and 
the secretary, Charles Thomson, were sent to 
several state assemblies. The declaration appeared 
July 6, in the Pennsylvania Evening Post, but 
Congress did not order it engrossed until July 19, 
and it was not signed by the members until August 
2. For more than six months Congress withheld 
the names of the signers. It was only common 

\ ^ See facts cited by Friedenwald, "The Declaration of Inde- 
pendence," in International Monthly, July, 1901, 


prudence, for this overt act of treason, if not made 
good, might bring the signers to the gallows. Con- 
gress was always aware of its danger, and, besides sit- 
ting with closed doors, withheld even from its secret 
journals some of its most important proceedings/ 

Among certain classes the news of the declara- 
tion was received with wild and unreasoning joy. 
All over the land rude pageantry of various kinds 
celebrated the event. With mock solemnity an 
effigy of the king was buried before the court- 
house; a more barbarous delight was the burn- 
ing the king's portrait in the presence of a great 
concourse of people. Others, intolerant of the em- 
blems of royalty, burned the peace officers' staves 
adorned with the king's coat of arms. Everywhere 
the signs with lion and crown, heart and crown, or 
pestle and mortar and crown were torn down.^ 
In New York, after the declaration was formally 
adopted on July 9, the soldiers pulled down the 
leaden statue of George III., melting it into bullets. 

Not every one greeted independence with such 
joy. Even good Whigs "trembled at the thought 
of separation from Great Britain." "We were," 
they sadly reflected, "formed by England's laws 
and religion. We were clothed with her manu- 
factures and protected by her fleets and armies. 
Her kings are the umpire of our disputes and the 

* Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, III., 19 16; Journals of Con- 
gress, June 7, 1776, also June 10. 

* Force, Am. Archives, 5th series, I., Index, " Independence." 


centre of our union." The Tories thought not only 
of these things, but they were aghast that men could 
w, be so mad as to cast away all these blessed fruits of 
^^ union. Many conservative men who had approved 
^Bof the resistance to the British measures now went 
^Bover to the loyal party. One asserted that if 
^America made good her declaration, ''that un- 
fortunate land would be a scene of bloody discord 
and desolation for ages." There would be in- 
ternecine war until a few provinces would conquer 
all the rest. England was as necessary to America's 
safety as a parent to his infant children. Some 
loyalists were convinced that the country did not 
wish independence, but that the baleful act was 
due to the irresponsibility of Congress, which con- 
sisted of " obscure, pettifogging attorneys, bankrupt 
shopkeepers, and outlawed smugglers" — political 
adventurers of the worst type.* 

The last step had now been taken by the Whigs. 
No man who was loyal to the king could remain a 
friend to the king's declared enemies. A Tory was 
no longer a political opponent of the Whigs; he 
Hf was now an enemy in their camp to be denounced 
and treated as a spy and a traitor. He was accused 
of enjoying the protection of the new state without 
giving his support in return. The Declaration of 
Independence proclaimed not only war with Eng- 
land, but a civil war between the Whigs and Tories 
in America. 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 91, 104-106, 



WHEN the Declaration of Independence was 
adopted, July 4, 1776, New York's delegates 
failed to approve. This royal stronghold, which in 
the terrible years that followed drove out over half 
the exiled loyalists of whom we have any record, 
was only brought to the patriot side by heroic meas- 
ures. In order to understand the even balance of 
rival forces in that community, we must take ac- 
count of events that happened a decade earlier. 
The Stamp Act caused in New Y^ork, as elsewhere, 
"a universal tumult," and party lines were for the 
moment wiped out. The royal governor w^as sup- 
ported only by a small coterie of personal friends, 
royal officers, and Anglican clergy. But as the 
radical opposition grew more reckless the conser- 
vatives went over to the governor's party, and two 
rival families, the De Lanceys and the Livingstons, 
long rivals in New York politics, again headed the 
Tory and Whig parties/ 

When, however, the tea controversy arose, the 

* Becker, in Am. Hist. Rev., VII., 59, 65. 


moderate Tories again broke away from the ultras 
and showed that they felt the colonial grievances as 
keenly as the Whigs. They asked only that the 
contest should be carried on by constitutional 
means. Though these liberal Tories were in control 
of the government, they united with the Whigs, in 
1773, in appointing a committee of correspondence 
which would keep New York in sympathetic con- 
tact with the other colonies. Again, however, they 
were outrun by their restive political mates, though 
they still kept control; and after the Boston Port 
Bill, in order to keep prudent men at the helm, they 
appointed a majority of a "committee of fifty-one,'* 
formed in the city of New York, to handle the prob- 
lems of the moment,^ 

Even in the election of delegates to the First Con- 
tinental Congress these moderate Tories kept the 
reins in hand, approving of the Congress^ because 
they hoped it would take the dispute out of the hands 
of the rabble. Its ''dangerous and extravagant 
measures," however, did not meet their approval, 
and they doubted whether the state was held by 
''laws made at Philadelphia." Once more the ma- 
jority of the liberal Tories were obliged to join the 
ultra faction. Scattered counties showed great 
Tory strength by either ignoring or repudiating the 

1 .V. y. Docs. Rel. to Col Hist., VIII., 433; N. Y. Hist. Soc, 
Collections (1877), 342. 

2 Cooper, A Friendly Address, 30; Chandler, What Think Ye 
of Congress Nowf 6, 


action of the Continental Congress,* while loyalist 
protests and addresses were signed in profusion. 
The liberal Tories had control of the provincial as- 
sembly, voting down all radical measures and re- 
fusing to elect delegates to the Second Continental 

The Whigs and the liberal Tories who remained 
with them, when thus defeated in the legal assembly, 
resorted to extra -legal devices, and the committee 
of sixty, which succeeded the committee of fifty- 
one,^ called a mass-meeting which authorized a con- 
vention for the purpose of choosing delegates to 
the new Continental Congress. The Tories in 
Dutchess County protested against this action, and 
the people of Staten Island refused to obey the call. 
Other counties were indifferent, but by hook or 
crook delegates were elected from nine counties, and 
when they met in a provincial convention they ig- 
nored the action of the regular assembty by ap- 
proving the measures of the First Continental Con- 

Here was the real downfall of the liberal Tories.^ 
Confidence came to the convention with the news 
of Lexington, and New York was " converted almost 
instantly, as St. Paul was of old," wrote a Whig; " a 
Tory dares not open his mouth." They were forced 
to recant or flee. Even the committee which had 

^ Dawson, Westchester County, 36-40; Force, Am. Archives, 4th 
series, I., 702, 703, 1063. ^ Ibid., I., 328. 

' Becker, in Am. Hist. Rev., IX., 85. 


been appointed by the liberal Tories now turned 
against them, censuring, arresting, and imprisoning 
them, and finally yielding up its power to the Tories' 
mortal enemy, the provincial convention. Nor was 
this the end, for in New York City there was organ- 
ized a committee of one hundred,^ which in May of 
1775 issued a call for a Provincial Congress, which 
was expected to usurp all the power of the lawful 
assembly and to direct **the measures for the com- 
mon safety." Like the frogs in the fable, as a Tory 
declared, the people had rejected the government 
of one king. Log, and were now obliged to submit to 
the tyranny of an hundred king storks. 

The new Provincial Congress whipped the back- 
ward counties and even New York City into sub- 
mission to its will; but its members were still loyal 
enough, and not at all sure, as the ultra- Whigs pro- 
claimed, that the "bleeding country" beckoned 
them " to shut up the Temple of Janus." They took 
measures to prevent the Tories aiding the British 
army, and talked much of the ''immutable laws of 
self-defence," but they had no thought of indepen- 
dence. As an old patriot expressed it, they fought 
the red-coats because "we always had governed 
ourselves and we always meant to. They didn't 
mean we should." ^ Accordingly, for the time at 
least, the invader was to be repulsed by every means 
to the end. The Provincial Congress resolved, in 

» N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VIII., 600, 
« CbamberUin, J. Adams ^ 249. 


August of 1775, that any person giving information 
to the enemy should be punished at the discretion 
of the local committee having the matter in hand. 
Those guilty of supplying the enemy were to forfeit 
double the value of the goods and be disarmed and 
imprisoned. If any denied the authority of the pa- 
triot congresses or committees, their weapons should 
be seized, and upon a second offence they should 
be confined at their own expense. All persons "in 
arms against the liberties of America" were to be 
seized and their property put in the hands "of some 
discreet person," who should pay the profits into the 
provincial treasury.^ All trials were to be held be- 
fore committeemen. A month later it was deter- 
mined to seize the arms of all who had not sworn 
allegiance to America's cause. ^ The committees 
worked with great zeal for a month. With the aid 
of the militia they pursued suspected Tories through 
swamp and woodland — the "nests of these obnox- 
ious vermin" — and if they found a man with more 
guns than he ought to have, or in possession of 
powder, or who slandered Washington or denied the 
authority of Congress, they hurried him away to a 
trial where the doors of mercy were too often shut. 
The bitterest animosity of all conservative men was 
soon aroused against the revolutionary'- govern- 

A reaction began even within the Provincial Con- 

^ Minutes of Provincial Congress of I\[. Y,, H., 314-319. 
^Ibid., III., 73-76. 


gress, and during the winter the loyaHsts enjoyed a 
respite, but in the middle of March, 1776, the Con- 
tinental Congress ordered the seizure of the arms of 
all disaffected persons,^ and the work was begun 
again — whole neighborhoods being thus disarmed 
and their weapons put in the hands of the Whig 
militiamen. In May the Provincial Congress began 
a crusade against Queens County, the stronghold of 
the loyalists.^ A special committee directed the 
work, and until midsummer the loyalists were 
harried by the Whig militia, seized and sent to 
neighboring states on parole, or imprisoned at home. 
A British attack was feared and intestine enemies 
must be removed or chained. 

In anticipation of such an attack upon New York, 
Washington, after taking possession of Boston, 
started the chief part of his troops towards the new 
seat of war. April 4, he left Cambridge, passing 
through Providence and New Haven, ^ and reaching 
New Y'ork, April 13, in company with General Gates. 
His troops came straggling in, delayed by bad roads 
and the lack of teams for the transportation of 

The condition of the government in the city of 
New York greatly alarmed W^ashington. He feared 
he should " have a difficult card to play." In spite 
of the severe treatment of the Tories and loyalists, 

* Journals of Congress, March 14, 1776. 

2 Cal. of N. Y. Hist. MSS., I., 338. 

' Baker, Itinerary of General Washington, 36. 


their confidence ^vas unabated, and the Tory 
governor, Tryon, who had fled on board the British 
ship Asia, encouraged them not to yield their arms 
— promising that a British army would soon come 
to their rescue. There was almost constant com- 
munication between the British ships and the Tories 
ashore. Washington at once urged the New York 
committee to prevent it by every means in their 
power. ^ *' Even the enemy themselves must despise 
us for suffering it to be continued." He had long 
urged the seizure of Tory leaders. "Why," he 
asked, "should persons who are preying upon the 
vitals of the country be suffered to stalk at large, 
whilst we know that they will do us every mischief 
in their power?" As a result of military necessity 
the few months between the arrival of Washington 
and the coming of the British were months of terror 
for the loyalists. They inevitably suffered at the 
rough hands of the soldiers, though the intent was to 
treat them humanely. 

Late in June, 1776, the Tory lot was rendered 
more wretched because of the discovery of a plot 
against the life of V/ashington. He was to be 
assassinated if necessary, but if possible he was 
to be seized and taken on a British ship to be tried 
for treason. Governor Tryon and the mayor of 
New York were apparently implicated, but the 
scape-goat was one of Washington's own guard, 
who was speedily hanged. The discovery of the plot 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), III., 357. 


horrified everybody and threw great discredit upon 
the Tory party; though they had previously been 
gaining adherents among men who wished to learn 
what might be the famous "conciliatory policy" 
which Lord Howe was said to be bringing along 
with his invading army. Now their cause was hard 
hit, and day by day the patriots gained in power 
until, July 9 — just a week late — the New York 
Provincial Congress adopted the Declaration of 
Independence, and the last link was welded in the 
chain of colonies that were fighting for a place 
among the nations. 

During the rest of the summer and autumn the 
chain was to be tested to its utmost. Battle after 
battle went against the new league, until only a few 
brave and patriotic men kept the weakened links 
from breaking. New York became the centre of 
the contest, and all of England's strength was bent 
on cutting the league along the line of the Hudson. 
New England seemed to be the head of the rebellion 
— sever that, they thought, and the rest of the 
serpent of rebellion would soon die. If they could 
seize and hold the line of the Hudson River they 
might take their time, they reasoned, in reducing 
isolated New England, which would soon be starved 
out for want of supplies drawn ordinarily in large 
part from the more fertile south. 

This plan prevailed, though some of England's 
greatest military men were against it. They saw 
clearly that from a military point of view America 

VOL. IX. — 8 


had natural strength. The colonies were three 
thousand miles from England. They had a thou- 
sand miles of sea-coast and a territory boundless in 
extent and resources. It would be hard to get 
armies to them, and harder still to subdue a people, 
nearly three millions in number, scattered along 
such an extended coast. The roads were bad, thus 
obstructing the movement of army trains; and 
much of the territory w^as only a wilderness, in 
which European soldiers would fight at a disadvan- 
tage. To attempt to conquer America internally, 
declared the military chief of the kingdom, "is as 
wild an idea as ever controverted common-sense." 
America, he wrote, was "an ugly job," and the 
British army would be destroyed by "damned 
driblets." To hold the Hudson and conquer New 
England would require thirty to fifty thousand men 
— all to be carried in sailing ships three thousand 
miles. Military men thought such a scheme hope- 
less from the start. ^ The secretary of war and others 
thought the war should be entirely naval. Occupy 
forts, shut off trade, and make predatory excursions 
inland, they urged. But the ministry were blind to 
the real conditions, and set about executing their 
own plan. 

An unpromising state of affairs was revealed when 
they came to survey their resources. The navy 
had been allowed to decline, and in December, 

^Commander-in-chief's letter-books, quoted in Fortescue, 
British Army, III., 167. 


1774, in the face of impending war, the number of 
men was reduced from twenty to sixteen thou- 
sand. The army was left at its old number, and 
even in the spring of 1775 was only increased a 
paltry four thousand/ The king plead in vain 
for troops, and in desperation sent his own Han- 
overian battalion to Gibraltar that its garrison 
might be released for American service. Only in 
August was an increase of twenty thousand men 
authorized by Parliament. Few recruits were avail- 
able in England, however. "We are given up to 
profusion, extravagance, and pleasure," declared 
Horace Walpole ; " heroism is not at all in the fashion. 
Cincinnatus will be found at the hazard table, and 
Camillus at a ball."^ There was, too, a division of 
sympathy within the empire. Pitt withdrew his 
eldest son from the army to prevent his serving 
against America, and there was throughout England 
much feeling adverse to service against the colonists. 
In their hour of need the ministry tried to hire 
soldiers from Russia, and, failing there, turned to the 
petty German princes who had long sold their 
subjects to pay their debts. Like Sancho Panza, 
Lord Irnham declared, they wished that all their 
subjects were blackamoors who might be sold and 
turned into ready money. The greatest of these 
half-dozen petty princes was the somewhat dignified 

* Commander-in-chief's letter - books, quoted in Fortescue, 
British Army, III., 170. 

' Letter? of Horace Walpole, VI., 194. 


landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, who kept the cast-off 
mistress of a French duke, welcomed French ad- 
venturers, and maintained a French theatre and 
corps de ballet} He agreed to furnish twelve thou- 
sand men, and it is to be said for him that he took 
a real interest in his men, insisted that they be kept 
together, and reduced the taxes of his remaining 

The least of these petty despots was the Prince 
of Anhalt-Zerbst, monarch of twenty thousand 
subjects, with whose affairs he refused to be troubled. 
His army was chiefly on paper, and of the six hun- 
dred men he agreed to send to America the majority 
were recruited outside of his own dominions. He 
was extremely sensitive to the troubles of his own 
ilk, and died with melancholy a few years later over 
the death of Louis XVI. — dying as he had lived, a 
"caricature of a royal martyr." 

Of the nearly thirty thousand soldiers furnished 
by these princes during the war over a third never 
returned to Germany. Some lost their lives, but 
many remained among the people against whom 
they were sent. The character of the so-called 
Hessians is therefore of special interest. It is well 
illustrated by the autobiography of one of them, a 
wandering theological student, on his way to Paris. ^ 
He was seized by the recruiting officers of the 
landgrave of Cassel — that " great broker of men." 

* Lowell, Hessians in the Revolution, 5,6. 
' Johan Gottfried Seume, Autobiography. 


" No one was safe from the grip of the seller of souls." 
Recruits came in from the plough, the highways, and 
from the neighboring states. Persuasion, cunning, 
deception, force — all served, and the net caught 
political malcontents, spendthrifts, loose livers, 
dninkards, restless people — *'an indescribable lot of 
human beings." Strangers of all kinds were arrest- 
ed. There was ''a runaway son of the muses from 
Jena, a bankrupt tradesman from Vienna, a fringe- 
maker from Hanover, ... a monk from Wiirzburg," 
and a ''Prussian sergeant of hussars." How will- 
ingly they all went, Schiller has pictured for us in his 
" Kabale und Liebe " : "A few saucy fellows stepped 
out of the ranks and asked the colonels at how much 
a yoke the prince sold men; but our most gracious 
master ordered all the regiments to march onto the 
parade-ground, and had the jackanapes shot down. 
We heard the crack of the rifles, saw their brains 
spatter the pavement, and the whole army shouted, 
* Hurrah ! to America !' " 

A defence was not wanting for this selling of men 
"to be dragged," as Frederick the Great wrote Vol- 
taire, ** like cattle to the shambles." Had not men 
in all ages slaughtered each other for hire? The 
Swiss had long been wont to fight as mercenaries; 
Xenophon's ten thousand Greeks did the same. It 
was a natural instinct of mankind. To Mirabeau's 
charge that it was '* the greatest of crimes," ** an of- 
fence against the freedom of nations," to send them to 
fight the freedom-seeking Americans, it was asserted 


that America's boasted liberty was "a deceitful 
siren." Some of the princes had made a pretence 
of offering their aid to George III. without com- 
pensation, presaging the " Holy Alliance," the band- 
ing together of kings to suppress one another's re- 
bellious subjects. As for the "dirty selfishness" of 
the princes, as Frederick called it, they intended to 
use the money to pay their princely debts. For- 
eign money would flow into their poor realms, and 
the troops would thus be fighting their ruler's worst 
enemies — his debts. The soldier would be paid, 
and would return with his savings, "proud to have 
worked for his country's and his own advantage." 

In the English Parliament the treaties with the 
princes were violently attacked. They were de- 
noimced as ' ' downright mercenary bargains for the 
taking into pa}^ of a certain number of hirelings, 
who were bought and sold like so many beasts for 
slaughter." "Let not the historian," plead Alder- 
man Bull, "be obliged to say that the Russian and 
German slave was hired to subdue the sons of Eng- 
lishmen and of freemen." 

Though there was a natural human sentiment 
against this hiring of soldiers, yet the opponents of 
the treaties had precedent against them. Merce- 
naries had been used to suppress the Highland re- 
bellion, and a regiment containing many "hirelings" 
had been used in the American colonies — indeed, the 
colonies had not been loath to accept the aid of such 
troops themselves. The strongest argument brought 


against the treaties was that, if Great Britain formed 
alliances and hired foreign troops, the colonies would 
feel justified in seeking like aid, and France, Spain, or 
Prussia might conceive that it had as good a right 
as the petty German princes to interfere in a domes- 
tic quarrel/ But all the Whig opposition — the elo- 
quence of Fox and Barre and Burke — was in vain 
against this method of recruiting men, as it was 
against the bill for raising the strength of the army. 
The German soldiers were hired and shipped for 

^Parliamentary Register, ist series, V., 174-216. 



FOLLOWING the ministerial plan of a cam- 
paign for the possession of the Hudson, Howe, 
who after his evacuation of Boston had waited help- 
lessly three months at Halifax for his provision 
ships, left, June 7, for New York. Within three 
weeks he and his transports were off Sandy Hook.^ 
His brother, Lord Howe, whose naval preparation 
in England had been delayed by a severe winter, 
arrived a few da^^s later, convoying his transports 
loaded with German soldiers and a British regiment.^ 
Howe decided to land at Staten Island, where he 
could watch the American attempts to blockade 
North and East rivers. 

Howe's ships, therefore, came up the Narrows 
between Staten and Long islands (July 2) with a 
fair wind and rapid tide, a spectacle very alarming 
to the Whig inhabitants of New York. The city 
was in an uproar — the alarm-guns firing, the troops 
repairing to their posts, and everything "in the 

* Kemble, Papers, I., 76, 79, 383. 

* Fortescue, British Army, 181, 182. 



height of bustle." ^ The next day the ships came 
up before the town, then only a small city of some 
twenty thousand souls at the southern end of Man- 
hattan Island. A loud cannonade greeted the ves- 
sels, which consequently kept well on the Jersey 
side to avoid it. Day after day Lord Howe's strag- 
gling transports dropped in, and, August i, Clin- 
ton, returning from the ill-starred and mistaken 
expedition to Cape Fear and Charleston,^ arrived at 
Staten Island, swelling Howe's army to nearly thirty 
thousand men. Still there were delays, and it was 
not until late in August that the campaign could 
really be begun. 

Before attacking the patriot army Lord Howe 
tried the conciliatory powers which the ministry, 
with the king's half-hearted sanction, had prevailed 
upon him to accept.^ If peace could be made Lord 
Howe could make it, for the Howe family was be- 
loved by Americans. One of the brothers had died 
in America's cause at Ticonderoga, and Lord Howe 
himself had spoken in Parliament in their behalf. 
Though he was the king's cousin, he had hitherto 
refused a military command in America, and George 
III. had touched his present commission when sign- 
ing it as he would have touched pitch. On Lord 
Howe's voyage to America he was sure of ''peace 
within ten days of his arrival." 

Indeed, the radical leaders in Congress had feared 

^ Brooks, Henry Knox, 56. ^ Kemble, Papers, I., 83. 

' Ford, in Atlantic Monthly, June, 1896. 


as much. John Adams tried to frown the peace 
embassy down as an ''arrant illusion" — '*a messiah 
that will never come." ''I have laughed at it, 
scolded at it, grieved at it," he wrote. To prevent 
its success, he hurried and fairly drove Congress to 
declare independence. As Howe's flag-ship neared 
the American coast he heard the salvos of guns 
fired as a salute to the new nation. Yet he did not 
give up hope, and he opened correspondence with 
prominent Americans, since his instructions forbade 
his recognizing or dealing with the Continental Con- 
gress as a body. He could only offer to individuals 
the full and free pardon of their king if they should 
desist from rebellion and lend their "aid in re- 
storing tranquillity." 

A letter with this offer was sent to "George 
Washington, Esq.," in the hope of avoiding the 
recognition of his title.* Neither the effusive polite- 
ness of the messenger, nor his "ma3/ it please your 
excellency," nor his assurance of Howe's benevolent 
disposition, could induce Washington to receive the 
letter. The Americans had not offended, he said 
simply, and they needed no pardon. All that the 
envoy could secure was Washington's "particular 
compliments" to Lord Howe and General Howe. 
Henry Knox thought the messenger awe -struck;^ 
and well he might be, the young admirer added, for 
"he was before a very great man indeed." Failing 
with Washington, Howe sent circular letters to the 

1 Kemble, Papers, I., 81. 2 Brooks, Henry Knox, 59. 


royal governors, who now, however, were in jail or on 
British ships, and quite impotent to publish procla- 
mations of pardon. But Congress secured a copy 
and published it, to be jeered at by the impenitent 

General Howe now proceeded to execute his part 
of the military plan. He was to seize New York, 
while General Carleton was to come down from 
Canada, retake Ticonderoga, and get control of the 
headwaters of the Hudson, together with its great 
feeder, the Mohawk Valley. Howe's task was com- 
paratively easy. Of British and Hessian soldiers 
he could muster some twenty -five thousand, well 
equipped and trained,^ while Washington, with 
some eighteen thousand ill-disciplined and badly 
armed men, was without the key to the situation, 
the control c^f the waters about the city. He must 
distribute his scanty forces about New York^in 
the forts outside, and on Long Island. Brooklyn 
Heights commanded New York just as Bunker Hill 
commanded Boston ; and to retain New York, Wash- 
ington must, he thought, hold the heights.^ The 
summer had been devoted to the hopeless task of 
strengthening the intrenchments there, and General 
Putnam, with some nine thousand men, was in com- 

Against this force on Long Island Howe deter- 

^ Fortescue, British Army, III., 182. 

^ C. F. Adams, " Battle of Long Island " {American Historical 
Review, I., 650). 


mined to move first. August 22, he effected a 
landing near the Narrows with some fifteen thou- 
sand men/ Four days of reconnoitring convinced 
him that the American advance Hnes, some five 
thousand men under General Sullivan and General 
Stirling, could easily be driven from the position 
which they had taken along some wooded heights, 
between the British army and Brooklyn. Through 
these hills there were three roads, two of which, the 
westernmost and the centre, were covered by Stir- 
ling and SulHvan, but the one far to the east being 
unguarded, might be used as an approach to the 
rear of the defenders.^ Undertaking the flank move- 
ment himself, he sent two detachments straight 
to the attack upon Stirling and Sullivan. Howe's 
army was so overwhelmingly greater than his op- 
ponent's that there could be but one outcome. 
Both American divisions were half defeated in the 
face-to-face encounter, and then utterly routed by 
the attack in the rear which Howe successfully man- 
aged. Both of the American commanders were 
captured as well as some one thousand one hundred 
officers and men, and each army lost between four 
and five himdred killed and wounded.^ The battle 
of Long Island was for the Americans a complete 
defeat, a foregone result, due to several causes, but 
chiefly to the overwhelming numbers of the British. 

* Kemble, Papers, I., 85. 

' Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed,), IV., 6^, map. 

» Kemble, Papers, I., 85,, 86. 


In the hope of still holding Brooklyn Heights, and 
thus saving New York, Washington reinforced his 
position until he had about nine thousand men to 
meet the attack by storm which he hoped Howe 
would undertake. For the time an unfavorable wind 
prevented the British ships coming up into East 
River, and thus cutting off a retreat, should that 
become necessary. But Howe seemed to be settling 
down for a regular siege which could have but one 
end, and the northeast wind must change ere long. 
The danger was too great, and in the night of Au- 
gust 29 Washington crossed to the island and per- 
sonally directed a retreat across the river to New 
York.^ Boats were gathered from all the water- 
front of Manhattan Island, and there were chosen 
to man the transfers the fishermen of Marblehead 
and Gloucester, who were serving with the Massa- 
chusetts troops. A heavy fog favored secrecy, but 
it is strange that the enemy, who were plainly heard 
working with their pickaxes, should not have 
heard the bustle and unavoidable noise attendant 
upon moving ten thousand men with baggage, pro- 
vision stores, horses, and munitions of war. Howe 
was early apprised of the movement, but his pickets 
only aiTived in time to fire a few shots at the rear- 
guard. The British general, sneered a critic, calcu- 
lated ''with the greatest accuracy the exact time 
necessary for his enemy to make his escape." 

Unwise and unskilful as Washington had been on 
* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 69-71. 


this occasion, he was not the man to make the same 
error twice. Never again did Howe have so golden 
an opportunity to end the war with a single stroke. 
As military critics have pointed out, Washington's 
army was the real stay of the rebellion, and the capt- 
ure or destruction of it should have been the object 
of every campaign, instead of the seizure of a city 
like Philadelphia or New York, or even the control 
of a line like the Hudson, which, would only sever 
the colonies, but by no means subdue them. 

Lord Howe, the peace-maker, seemed quite sat- 
isfied with the British victory on Long Island. 
Hoping to find the Americans in a more penitent 
state of mind, he sent the captured General Sullivan 
— a sort of "decoy duck," as John Adams said, with a 
sneer — to urge Congress to send some of its members, 
in their private capacity, to confer with the king's 
peace commissioner. There was acrimonious de- 
bate, and dark hints of treachery were uttered ; but 
Adams and Rutledge and Franklin were finally sent 
as a committee from Congress. Upon their arrival 
at Staten Island they were met by Lord Howe, who 
thanked them for their confidence, and after a 
social hour at dinner began his efforts to cement the 
broken fragments of the British Empire.* 

He apologized for bearing both the sword and the 
olive-branch, saying that his desire had been for a 
purely civil commission, with which he might go 

* See the report of Howe's secretary, Strachey, in Atlantic 
Monthly, LXXVII., 759. 


straight to Philadelphia. He had, however, hoped 
to find Congress in the same frame of mind as when 
it sent its petition to the king. He feared that the 
Declaration of Independence would prevent peace- 
making, for he had no power to consider America 
except as part of the empire. He had no power 
even to confer with the gentlemen present except 
as men of great ability — influential men of the coun- 
try — and he hoped no implication of theirs w^ould 
commit him on that point. Franklin here blandly 
assured him, "You may depend upon our taking 
care of that, my lord." He might consider the 
gentlemen in any view he thought proper, Franklin 
said, with humorous diplomacy, adding that they 
were also at liberty to consider themselves in their 
real character. Adams did not object to being con- 
sidered as a private gentleman — " or anything but a 
British subject." 

Howe then urged the necessity of treading back 
the step of independency if they were to get any 
concessions from the king. He declared that the 
king desired America's happiness, would reform 
whatever affected the freedom of their legislation, 
and would concur with Parliament in the redress of 
grievances. The dispute, Howe thought, seemed to 
concern only the method of getting aid from Amer- 
ica for the defence of the empire. ''That we have 
never refused upon requisition," Frankhn interposed ; 
but Howe said that the money did not matter. Eng- 
land wanted America's strength, her commerce, and 


her men. *'Ay, my lord," said Franklin, "we have 
a pretty considerable manufactory of men." 

To Howe's anxious inquiry whether the act of 
independence could be recalled, Franklin replied that 
America could not now expect happiness under the 
domination of Great Britain — the former attach- 
ment was obliterated. Congress had been instruct- 
ed by the colonies, Adams added, to declare inde- 
pendence, and it could not rescind if it wished. 
Rutledge thought it worth the consideration of 
Great Britain whether she would not receive greater 
advantages by an alliance with the now independent 
states than she had hitherto enjoyed from her colo- 
nies. The American people were now settled and 
happy, and it was useless for England to hope for 
their political allegiance again. Howe replied that 
he had no power to treat on this basis, and could not 
hope to receive such power, adding, testily, that he 
was sorry the gentlemen had had the trouble of 
coming so far for so little purpose. When Franklin 
started to say something about "total submission," 
Howe interrupted with a denial that the king had 
any wish for "unconditional submission." Ex- 
pressing his disappointment again, he ended the 
conference. One last effort he made, September 19, 
with a declaration, circulated far and wide by the 
loyalists. The British government was ready, he 
declared, to reconsider the aggravating acts and 
instructions. All fair - minded people were asked, 
to decide for themselves whether it was not wiser 


to rely on this solemn promise than commit them- 
selves to dangerous and unrighteous war. After 
this last flourish of the olive-branch the British 
commanders turned again to the task of seizing 
New York.* 

After some delays and futile attempts to hold the 
city, Washington determined to withdraw.^ He 
and General Greene wished to burn the city, but 
Congress and the council of war were against such 
action.^ The main army retired to Haerlem Heights 
none too soon, for the united action of the British 
ships-of-war enabled Howe to make a landing at 
Kip's Bay, and quickly to throw a line across Man- 
hattan Island, several miles north of the city. The 
British troops thus nearly penned up and captured 
three or four thousand American soldiers who had 
been left in the city. Howe now took possession of 
New York, and the Americans strongly intrenched 
themselves just above Haerlem."* 

When New York and Long Island passed into the 
control of the British army, the Whig power was 
there wholly overthrown. The Tories expressed 
their exultation in loyal addresses to Lord Howe, 
joyful that they had been "restored to the king's 
most gracious protection." From the day that the 
British soldiers entered New York until the last one 

* On the whole negotiation, Force, Am. Archives, 5th series, II., 
398, 1329- 

'Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 91. 
' Force, Am. Archives, sth series, II., 182, 135. 

♦ Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 101-105, 94, 95. 

VOL. IX. — 


left in 1783, the persecuted Tories had a sanctuary. 
From every colony they came by boat, on foot, in 
carriage, or on horse, thanking God when they passed 
within the British Hnes and left behind them the din 
of persecution/ 

The Whigs of Long Island were at once disarmed 
and compelled to take an oath of allegiance. There 
was in general, however, a loyal spirit, and not hy- 
pocrisy, in the welcome extended to the British sol- 
diers. The few real Whigs now received measure 
for measure from the lately persecuted Tories". 
Their cattle were stolen, their orchards cut down 
for firewood, and their Presbyterian churches de- 
filed and ruined. The British cavalry used the 
sanctuaries for stables, and mischief -loving Tories 
sawed off the steeples.^ 

This exhibition of rage against the Presbyterian 
sect was due to the belief that "Whig" and ''Pres- 
byterian" were synonymous. In New York and 
New England there was a plain party division along 
religious lines. ^ Just before the Revolution the Brit- 
ish ministry had been thought to have the design of 
sending an Anglican bishop .to America, holding a 
state church to be an essential part of a body politic. 
Though the ministry had no such purpose,* the Pres- 
byterians and Congregationalists opposed the fan- 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 128. 

^ Onderdonk, Revolutionary Incidents of Long I standi 132. 
^ Col, Soc. of Mass., Transactions, III., 42. 

* Cross, The Anglican Episcopate, 199. 


cied intention and talked much of the danger that 
Parhament might next collect tithes and crush 
heresy. In New England this dispute pitted the 
Episcopal and Congregational churches against each 
other, and, because the former received British sup- 
port, that sect came to be regarded as leagued with 
the Tories. 

In New York the De Lancey, or Tory, party was 
of Anglican faith, while men of the Livingston, or 
Whig, party were, as a rule, Presbyterians. Through- 
out America the judges, lawyers, collectors of ports, 
and all crown officers were natural supporters of the 
king and Parliament, and, as they were generally 
members of the Anglican church, the Whigs v/ere 
quick to regard them and their religion as opposed 
to the revolutionary movement. They accused the 
Anglican clergy of writing home ''amazing false- 
hoods," and they made much of one Samuel Peters's 
letter, prophesying the sacrifice of the Episcopal 
church ''to the rage of the Puritan Mobility, if 
the old serpent" were not bound. Later, when 
war was impending, he wrote of the Puritans, 
"spiritual iniquity rides in high places." Their 
preachers on their "pious sabbath day" left their 
pulpits for gun and drum, "cursing the king, Lord 
North, General Gage . . . and the church of Eng- 
land." ^ 

Evidence of this double political and sectarian 
antipathy was everywhere visible. The Whig mob 

^ Journals of Each Prov. Cong, of Mass., 21. 


cried, *'Down with the church" and the "rags of 
popery." In New York the Sons of Liberty were 
denounced as a ** Presbyterian junto." Though 
there were AngHcans among them, their leaders were 
declared to be *' turbulent, anti - monarchical Pres- 
byterians." The men in Presbyterian pulpits were 
accused of " spiriting their godly hearers to the most 
violent opposition to government." As the war 
advanced, altar was arrayed against altar. If, as 
we have seen, the Tories insulted Presbyterian 
churches, Whigs were ready for any vandalism 
against Anglican sanctuaries. While the British 
used a Presbyterian church as a guard-house and the 
pulpit pillar as a hitching-post, a troop of American 
cavalry was quartered in an Episcopal rectory, using 
the church as a hospital and the pews as firewood.* 
Tories were branded with the sign of the cross. 
The Puritans were denoimced as "surly, hum- 
drum sons of liberty" — "those hypocritical fa- 
natics who brought the best of princes to the 
block." ^ 

So prominent was this religious phase of the 
struggle that men of limited understanding asserted 
that the Revolution was a religious war, but they 
saw only that phase in which they were interested. 
At no period of the war were there greater signs 
of antipathy between the rival religious sects than 
in the weeks that immediately followed the capture 

* Narrative of Walter Bates, 5. 

•Mass. Higt. Soc, Proceedings ^ ? 4 series, XIJ., 141, 


of New York, yet the political strife was even then 
by far the most prominent. Except at a later time, 
in South Carolina, partisan wrath and persecution 
never were hotter than in the Whig regime that 
preceded the capture of New York and in the hour 
of Tory triumph that followed it. 



BY the capture of New York City Howe had 
gained part of the object of his campaign, but 
he hoped daily, and in vain, that Carle ton would 
report the seizure of Ticonderoga, thus placing in 
British control the two ends of the coveted line of 
the Hudson. Carle ton was delayed by the stub- 
born and desperate Benedict Arnold, who, after 
the stormy night of December 31, 1775, when his 
little army was repulsed before Quebec, grimly 
fought, step by step, all the dreary way out of 

After the first repulse Arnold received reinforce- 
ments enough to keep Quebec in a state of blockade ; 
but small-pox, and desertion because of the terrors 
of a winter camp,^ depleted his force, until Carleton 
drove the little army from the Plains of Abraham, 
with the aid of British vessels arriving when navi- 
gation opened. Carleton, reinforced by Hessians 
until his army numbered thirteen thousand men, 
pushed Arnold back and back until he reached 

^ Journals of Congress, July 30, 1776. 


Sorel and was reinforced. General John Thomas, 
assigned to the command in Canada, reached the 
army late in April, but died soon, so that Arnold was 
in actual control of the whole retreat. Montreal was 
now retaken by Carleton, and then the pursuit of 
Arnold was resumed, until the Americans, after a 
loss of five thousand men, were driven wholly out of 
Canada, and in June, 1776, stood at bay, determined 
to prevent the British gaining control of Lake 

All of Arnold's fierce energy and courage were 
aroused. While Carleton was gathering a fleet of 
overpowering strength Arnold constructed, out of 
the standing timber of the forest, a flotilla of some 
sixteen vessels, with which he meant to harass and 
delay Carleton until it should be too late in the 
season to capture Ticonderoga.^ He took his stand 
at Valcour's Island early in October, and when 
Carleton with an overwhelming fleet bore down 
upon him, Arnold gave the British seven hours of 
desperate fighting. The American fleet was almost 
destroyed, but in the mists of the night Arnold 
slipped away towards Crown Point. Mending leaks, 
saving sinking crews, and sailing or rowing as he 
could, he neared the fort before the enemy over- 
hauled him. Another four hours of furious combat 
saved the remnant of Arnold's force, and after land- 

^ Force, Am. Archives, 4th series, VI., 1102-1108,587-596. 
2 See A. T. Mahan, "Naval Campaign on Lake Champlain," 
in Scribner's Magazine, February, 1898. 


ing at Crown Point he led his men safely through 
the woods to Ticonderoga.^ 

Carleton came up before that fortress, but thought 
it too strong to be taken, and led his army back 
into Canada, to the surprise of his foes and the 
chagrin of his friends. This strange conduct de- 
layed the campaign of the following year, and thus 
Arnold's skill and wonderful energy were rewarded. 
But for this delay Burgoyne would have succeeded, 
there would have been no surrender at Saratoga, 
and there probably would have been no French 
alliance. This seemingly petty conflict set going 
vast forces which soon involved in war half the 
civilized nations of the world. 

While this struggle was at its worst in the north, 
Howe, on the lower Hudson, was meeting a new 
problem of his own. The British army held New 
York City, but the Americans were strongly in- 
trenched beyond the Haerlem. They were a con- 
stant menace ; and, besides, Howe felt that he could 
hardly close the campaign for the year without mak- 
ing an attempt to capture them. Had he known 
the condition of Washington's forces he would have 
been justified in leaving it to resolve into its natural 
elements without the aid of an annihilating attack.^ 

Washington's army, even before its defeat on 
Long Island, was but an ill-organized collection of 
militia companies. Washington had pleaded with 

^Gentleman's Magazine, XLVII. (1777), 42, 
'Washington, Writings (Sparks's e4.). IV., 131, i6j, 


Congress for an adequate regular army, but the 
fears of military despotism and the financial straits 
of Congress prevented such action. The militia 
was quite unfit for the task. As Henry Knox wrote, 
they *'get sick, or think themselves so, and run 
home; and wherever they go they spread a panic."* 
After the retreat from Long Island Washington 
wrote letter after letter to Congress telling how 
poor was his faith in militia. The defeat "has 
dispirited too great a proportion of our troops," he 
lamented. '*The militia . . . are discouraged, in- 
tractable, and impatient to return." Great num- 
bers had gone off, ** almost by whole regiments, by 
half ones, and by companies at a time." Their 
example, of course, infected the rest of the army. 
"To place any dependence upon militia is assuredly 
resting on a broken staff," Washington declared, 
and he added that he would subscribe on oath that 
they had been hurtful rather than serviceable. No 
dependence could be put on them or other troops, he 
assured Congress, than those enlisted and embodied 
for a longer period than the regulation then allowed. 
A permanent standing army was needed.^ 

Discipline was quite impossible under the existing 
system. There is " an entire disregard of that order 
and subordination necessary to the well - being of 
an army," Washington asserted. Men who have 

* Brooks, Henry Knox, 64. 

'Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), III., 16, IV., 379, 380, 
429, 443, 456 etseq., 473' 


been free and subject to no control cannot be re- 
duced to order in an instant. The example of 
their insubordination was contagious, he declared. 
Good officers might remedy this condition, but 
there were no other possible means to obtain them, 
Washington told Congress, but by establishing the 
army upon a permanent footing and giving the 
officers good pay. This will induce gentlemen and 
men of character to engage, he added, bitterly. 
While the men regard an officer as an equal, or 
"regard him no more than a broomstick," no 
discipline can prevail. But Congress was not yet 
ready to put the blind faith in its military leader 
that it learned at a later time. He was left to 
struggle as best he could against superior numbers 
and superior organization.^ 

To capture this ''receptacle for ragamuffins," 
as one of Washington's staff described the American 
army, Howe devised the only feasible plan.^ Back 
of Washington's position the land lying between the 
Hudson and Long Island Sound constantly widened, 
yet the British fleet might push past forts Lee and 
Washingon, which guarded the Hudson near the 
Haerlem, and land a force back of Washington's 
army, while troops might also be landed on the 
shore of Long Island Soimd in the rear of his left. 

After Howe had assured himself that the forts 
might be passed, he determined to cut Washington's 

^ V/ashington, Writings (Ford's ed.), IV., 40Q, 440, 443. 
2 Fortescue, British Army, III., 187 et seq. 


communications with Connecticut, and get behind 
him if possible. With the main division of his 
army Howe landed (October 12) some nine miles 
up the East River, and, finding himself thwarted 
there, he pushed on to Pells' Point. Washington 
was too wary to be hemmed in. After reinforcing 
Fort Washington he intrenched his army along a 
line of eighteen miles, from Haerlem to White 
Plains, hoping to check the British advance. On 
October '28, one of his outposts was stormed at a 
considerable loss to the British, and the affair 
became known as the battle of White Plains. In- 
stead of pushing this advantage, Howe delayed 
several days, and Washington retired to North Castle, 
a position too strong to be safely attacked.^ Howe 
then moved towards the Hudson, threatening a move 
on Philadelphia, but really hoping to draw Wash- 
ington out of his stronghold. 

To meet this feint of Howe's, Putnam was sent 
across the Hudson to Hackensack. The Highlands 
were then guarded by a force placed at Peekskill, 
while Charles Lee, who had just returned from South 
Carolina, was left with seven thousand men on the 
east side of the Hudson until he should be ordered 
to join W'ashington. The large force still detained 
as the garrison of forts Lee and Washington should 
now have been withdrawn, for British ships had 
easily passed them and proven them useless. Wash- 

^ Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 151; Kemble, 
Papers, I., 93, 96. 


ington ordered them abandoned, conditionally,* 
and went himself to seek a site for a surer defence 
of the Hudson at West Point. He had hardly left 
the scene when Greene, who had been given dis- 
cretionary powers, reinforced it, and Howe, on No- 
vember 16, turned upon it with an overwhelming 
force and compelled its surrender with some two 
thousand six hundred of the best American troops.' 
This was one of the severest blows suffered by the 
American army during the war. 

Washington now had but six thousand troops on 
the Jersey side of the Hudson, and Lee was ordered 
to bring over his seven thousand reserves at once. 
The command was ignored, however, and when 
Howe crossed the Hudson with five thousand men 
and descended upon Fort Lee there was nothing 
for the garrison to do but to abandon its stores 
and flee to the main division, which lay between 
the Passaic and the Hackensack rivers. The whole 
army was in danger there, and Washington marched 
it southwestward to Newark, while he daily urged 
Lee to come to his aid.' 

Charles Lee was vainglorious and wilful to the 
point of treason. He saw in Washington's present 
straits a chance to improve his own fortunes, for 
if the commander-in-chief should be overwhelmed, 
Lee, who was next in rank, would doubtless succeed 

^ * Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 164, 183. 

' Kemble, Papers, I., 100; Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), 
IV., 183. ' Moore, Treason of Chas. Lee,4'j ,48, 187-193. 


him. The simple-minded Americans of that day 
were greatly impressed by this showy, eccentric 
soldier, who had been an aide-de-camp to the Polish 
king, commander of the Cossacks, and a warrior 
since his eleventh year. Had he not smoked with 
the Mohawks in their councils, chatted with Fred- 
erick the Great, and fought the Turks ? There were 
prominent men in Congress who thought him a 
military genius, and while they contrasted Lee, the 
supposed hero of Charleston, with Washington, the 
defeated commander-in-chief, their folly was fed 
by insidious letters suggesting a change in the 
command. Lee insinuated that if any of the 
members of Congress had studied Roman history 
they might see the wisdom of making him dictator 
for a week.* 

While Lee paltered and delayed, Washington was 
helplessly retreating before the overpowering force 
of the enemy. Repeated disaster took away the 
heart of the soldiers, the terms of their enlistment 
were expiring, and the longing for home drove them 
to madness. They deserted or refused to enlist 
again, and the army dwindled until only three 
thousand stood with their devoted chief on the 
bank of the Delaware, near Trenton. Though 
Howe might have overtaken them there, he again 
calculated the exact time for his enemy to escape. 
Washington caused every boat for miles up and 
down the Delaware to be seized, and he had the last 
* MQore, TrQQ,$Qn of CIms. Lee, 43, 



boatful of his troops on the opposite bank as Howe's 
advance-guard reached Trenton on December 8. 
Pursuit had to be abandoned, because no boat could 
be found along the Jersey shore. 

Five days later Charles Lee, who had finally 
crossed the Hudson with his fast dwindling army, 
and who idly waited for a chance to make the 
brilliant stroke which would give him the chief 
command, was surprised in his tavern quarters at 
Basking Ridge. Bareheaded, uncloaked, unarmed, 
and in his usual eccentric ill-dress, he was hurried off 
on horseback a prisoner, ranting and railing at his 
faithless guard. This was thought another terrible 
loss by the simple folk of that day, who believed 
him "a most consummate general."* The patriot 
cause seemed all but lost. Lord Howe and his 
brother assured the British ministry that New- 
Jersey was in their hands. General Howe, sure that 
the colonies were severed at the Hudson, and their 
main army worn out, detached a force under Lord 
Percy to seize Newport as a convenient base for the 
work of reducing New England.^ The British general 
was looked upon as another Caesar, w^ho came and 
saw and conquered. It was reported that Franklin, 
who had sailed for France, had fled thither for 
safety. Europe looked upon the American cause as 
lost, and Voltaire wrote in sorrow that "reason and 
liberty are ill received in this world." 

* Force, Aw. Archives, 5th series, III., 1204, 1232, 1247, 1411, 
^ ibid., 926. 


America was in despair, and Philadelphia, threat- 
ened by the British army, was panic - stricken. 
Congress fled to Baltimore, in spite of vigorous 
opposition to so craven an act.^ Samuel Adams, 
in his religious fervor, declared that Providence 
would even work miracles "to save the city and 
to establish America's feet upon a rock." With 
the flight of Congress fled the little credit that it 
had. Its paper money was openly refused, or, if 
taken, brought but half of its face value.^ The 
frightened citizens tried to save their property. 
The whole city seemed to be on wheels, Robert 
Morris wrote. Beds, furniture, and baggage filled 
the streets. Few but Quakers and sick soldiers 
remained with Morris, who courageously stuck to 
his post, borrowing from house to house the money 
needed to uphold the patriot cause. ^ Amid this 
"scene of greatest distress," this financier of the 
Revolution worked with prodigious energy, urging 
to completion the embryo navy which was yet 
on the stays in the ship-yards, and striving with 
a handful of troops to put the city in a state of 

Not only was the British army feared, but the 
Tories of the city grew bolder as the invading army 
drew nearer. Indeed, toryism had greatly increased 
both there and in New Jersey. The wavering, 


* Journals of Congress, December 20, 1776. 

' Force, Am. Archives, 5th series, III., 1334. 

* Oberholtzer, Robert Morris, 24. 


neutral masses of American society lay between the 
two extremes of political thought, the Whigs and the 
Tories, and when success came to either cause the 
flood set irresistibly that way, moving towards the 
point of least resistance. The fear of this adverse 
tide was always before Washington. " One unhappy 
stroke will throw a powerful weight into the scale 
against us," he wTote,^ "enabling General Howe to 
recruit his army as fast as we shall ours." Early in 
the struggle the royal governors had asserted that 
the loyalists were in the majority, which was amply 
true if the indifferent masses were counted with the 
active supporters of the king. Yet this was no avail- 
able source for swelling the British ranks, since 
the masses were no more ready to fight with Eng- 
land than against her. Except the radical and 
active Tories, men were not willing to go further 
than to sell their commodities to the highest 

During Howe's march through New Jersey every 
facility of the country was at the beck of British 
gold. Farmers eagerly sought the camp with their 
produce.^ Millers smuggled flour to the British 
when they had none for Washington's retreating 
"starvelings." Horses were sent in droves to the 
British lines. Yet this eagerness to aid the invader 
measured the difference between British gold and 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), IV., 470. 
' Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2068; Conn. Public Records, I., 528; 
R. I. Records, VII., 388; Del. Session Laws, May 20, 1778. 


American paper money rather than the love for 
either cause. This lack of devotion to the cause 
deeply grieved the patriot leaders. "The spirit of 
venality," wrote John Adams, "is the most dread- 
ful and alarming enemy America has to oppose. . . . 
[It] will ruin America, if she is ever ruined. If 
God Almighty does not interfere by his grace to 
control this universal idolatry to the mammon of 
unrighteousness, we shall be given up to the chas- 
tisement of his judgments. I am ashamed of the 
age I live in."* 

Besides these men who supported the British for 
gain, there were those whose loyalism was real and 
whose activity began to be severely felt in the con- 
test. The thousands of refugees to New York, 
after it passed into British hands, found a hundred 
ways to aid their protectors. They knew the 
American people as the English did not, and they 
preyed upon them until there was no hate like the 
hate of a Whig for a Tory. They went as spies 
among the patriots, stole their powder from their 
magazines, and robbed their stores of salt.^ They 
sowed sedition and intimidated the people by false 
news. Credulous men were told that the king had 
hired fifty thousand Russians — terrible Cossacks, 
who would not spare man, woman, or child. In 
the guise of peddlers the Tories went among the 
people discouraging enlistment, until Washington's 

* John Adams Familiar Letters, 23a. 
'Van Tyne, Loyalists, 1 48-1 51. 

VOL. IX.— 10 


wrath was great against ''their diabolical and In- 
sidious Arts." ^ 

Tory emissaries were they who, early in December, 
1776, carried Lord Howe's broadsides among the 
people of New Jersey and the near provinces. To 
half-hearted patriots pardon was offered on the 
condition of their taking an oath of allegiance to the 
king. Nearly three thousand people took the oath, 
and only the outrages committed by the British 
and Hessians on their march through New Jersey 
prevented the people of the province from settling 
down as contented British subjects.^ Washington 
had found very few of them willing to join his re- 
treating army, and if none entered the enemy's 
ranks it was because the British officers rather 
scorned these loyal recruits, and employed them 
only as hewers of wood and drawers of water. 

Able loyalist writers of that day asserted that the 
British lost America because of their unwillingness 
to enlist and use the loyal citizens who were eager 
to aid in overthrowing the rebellion.^ For the 
moment, however, the British seemed in no need 
of loyal aid. Washington's army had dwindled to 
a few thousand wretchedly equipped and dispirited 
men. His only hope was in the enlistment of a new 
army. If this fails, he wrote, "I think the game 

^Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), IV., 90. 

^ " Pliindering by the British Army," in Pa. Magazine, 
XXV., 114; N. y. Archives, 2d series, I., index under "British" 
and "Jerseys." 

* Galloways Examination; Jones, American Revolution, passim. 


is pretty nearly up." " No man/' he believed, " ever 
had a greater choice of difficulties, and less means 
to extricate himself from them." He did not think 
the cause would finally sink, " though it may remain 
for some time under a cloud." ^ 

While the commander-in-chief was desperately 
planning to retrieve his fallen fortunes, *'Tom" 
Paine, who had marched all the terrible way from 
Fort Lee to the Delaware, finished "The Crisis," a 
pamphlet written by night, at the winter camp- 
fires, while the fugitive army was sleeping.^ It was 
printed on December 19, and within a week copies 
were passing about the camp, inspiring the soldiers 
and bracing them for the desperate work that had 
been laid out for them. "The summer soldier and 
the sunshine patriot " Paine expected to shrink from 
the service, but the faithful deserve "the love of 
man and woman." "The harder the conflict the 
more glorious the triumph." "Heaven," he wrote, 
"knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; 
and it would be strange, indeed, if so celestial an 
article as Freedom should not be highly rated." 
The last three wretched weeks were raised from 
the depths of ignominy. To Paine the retreat was 
"glorious," and the names of Washington and 
Fabius would "run parallel to eternity." ^ 

Washington had just been reinforced by the men 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 231. 
^ Conway, Thomas Paine, I., 85. 
^ Almon's Remembrancer, 1777, p. 29. 


that Lee had so long withheld. He knew that Howe* s 
army had been unwisely stretched in a long line, and 
he resolved to break its centre at Trenton. The 
American army, now six thousand strong, was to 
cross the Delaware in three divisions, two of which 
were to converge at Trenton, where the Hessians, 
under Colonel Rail, were encamped, and the third to 
attack Coimt Donop's forces at Burlington. So 
stormy and terrible was the night that two divisions 
failed to cross, and, though Washington knew it, he 
desperately determined to make the attack with 
some two thousand five hundred men under his own 
command. "Necessity, dire necessity," he wrote, 
must justify him. Ten hours of the stormy Christ- 
mas night were spent ferrying the army through the 
floating ice to the Jersey side. Nine miles through 
storm and hail brought the devoted soldiers to 
Trenton, which was entered "pell-mell," as Henry 
Knox wrote.* "The hurry, fright, and confusion 
of the enemy," he continues, "was not imlike that 
which it will be when the last trump shall sotmd. 
They endeavored to form in the streets," but the 
American cannon cleared them "in the twinkling 
of an eye," ^ They fled back of the houses for shel- 
ter, but the musketry dislodged them. They were 
driven through the town to an open plain beyond, 
where they quickly formed, but were surrounded, 
and in despair surrendered. Over a thousand were 

* Stryker, Battles of Trenton and Princeton, 371. 
' Prooks, Hi^nry Knox;, 80. 


taken, and the patriots recrossed the Delaware to 
put them in safe-keeping.^ 

The brilHant exploit had its immediate reward. 
The army, which but yesterday had been eager to 
disband as soon as its term of enlistment expired, 
now, in a great part, re-enlisted for six weeks. ^ The 
soldiers did demand an outrageous bounty, it is 
true, but Washington thought it no time to stand 
on trifles, when trained soldiers were so much need- 
ed. A large force of Pennsylvania militia also 
joined his army,^ and he again crossed the Delaware 
(December 29) and occupied Trenton. 

Meanwhile, Comwallis hurried from New York, 
and, taking eight thousand men from the camp at 
Princeton, advanced upon Washington, hoping to 
"bag the old fox," but, by a manoeuvre which justi- 
fied the British epithet, the American commander 
evaded this overw^helming force, and made a mid- 
night march to Princeton, where (January 3, 1777) 
he defeated three British regiments and then retired 
to the heights of Morristown.^ Cornwallis then re- 
treated to New Brunswick, and the greater part of 
New Jersey was soon recovered from the invader. 

The rapid and brilliant manoeuvre of the Ameri- 
can army had thus in ten days robbed the British 
of the fruits of a whole stimmer's work, except the 


* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 246-248. 
'Bancroft, United States (ed. of 1866), IX., 240. 
^Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), V., 136, 137, 141. 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 258 


possession of New York City. Washington had 
taken a broken-spirited army, ready and eager to 
disband, and had led it to a victory which changed 
its despair to confidence and the British scorn to a 
wholesome fear. America was fired with enthusiasm, 
and new recruits filled the depleted ranks. Hessian 
soldiers, lured by offers of bounty-lands and dis- 
gusted with British failures, deserted to Washing- 
ton's anny. America's friends in England were 
encouraged, while the hopes of the king were blasted. 
In Europe the efforts of American emissaries to get 
aid, and especially to make an alliance with France, 
were furthered by the cheering news. 

One of the most important results of the expul- 
sion of the British from New Jersey was the death- 
blow to the loyalist hopes. In the expectation of 
British protection, they had taken oaths of allegiance 
to the crown, and now they were left to the mercy 
of the American army. Already their uprisings in 
Maryland, Delaware, and North Carolina had been 
overthrown because they were tmsupported by the 
British anny.^ The abandonment of New Jersey 
was the final lesson. Loyalty was discouraged, for 
its efforts seemed only to involve it in ruin. 

Washington now proclaimed that all who had 
accepted protection from Lord Howe must take an 
oath of allegiance to the United States or retire to 
the British lines. ^ Many who had given aid to the 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 219 et seq. 

^Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), V., 201 et seq. 


invading army were obliged to abandon families 
and homes and flee to New York. Others re- 
mained to endure persecution or ignominiously 
retract their oaths to Lord Howe and swear alle- 
giance to the patriot cause. Many, indeed, kept 
about their persons certificates of loyalty to 
both causes, using either as emergency might re- 

Not the least of the advantages gained by the 
victories was the time given Washington, in his 
winter camp at Morristown, to recruit and reorgan- 
ize his army on the basis of measures recently adopt- 
ed by Congress. They saw at last that Washington 
could not perform miracles with little bands of militia 
enlisted for from three to six months, and work- 
ing together like a group of little allied armies, 
which came and went with capricious irregularity. 
The states had been asked in September to enlist 
for the war sixty-six thousand men. Each state 
was assigned certain proportions — which were never 
heeded — and Congress promised to pay and support 
the men after they were once clothed and armed. 
The states w^ere to select and Congress to commission 
the officers. Congress thus put aside the general 
prejudice against standing armies w^hich Washing- 
ton had labored for months to dispel. After the 
Christmas victory Washington was ordered, in addi- 
tion to the state militia, to enlist, in the name of the 
United States, sixteen battalions of infantry, three 
thousand light-horse, three artillery regiments, and 


a corps of engineers.* In the enthusiasm of the 
moment they made their commander-in-chief the 
dictator that Lee had aspired to be. Washington 
was authorized to appoint and displace all officers 
under the rank of brigadier-general, to seize, when 
people refused to sell, whatever was needed for the 
support of the army, after paying a fair price, and 
to arrest and confine, awaiting civil trial, all per- 
sons opposed to the American cause or refusing the 
Continental paper money. ^ 

Using these powers, which were vested in him for 
six months, Washington made every effort with the 
aid of liberal bounties to raise the number of men 
voted by Congress, but he found the states to be 
vexatious rivals.^ They passed laws draughting 
men ittto the service of the state, and by fines and 
imprisonment drove the draughted men into their 
armies. This means was closed to Washington, 
who derived his power from Congress, which, since 
the Declaration of Independence, might seem to 
govern the whole country, but whose authority, 
having no legal foundation, rested on common 
consent and plain necessity. The members were 
in some cases merely the choice of conventions 
which represented small numbers of the people and 
which acted with obvious irregularity. Not even 
the state assemblies could be said to be represented 

* Journals of Congress, September 16, 1776, December 27, 1776. 

^ Ibid., December 27, 1776. 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks 's ed.), IV., 353. 


by the delegates in Congress. For these reasons it 
behooved both Washington and Congress to use 
their powers with great discretion. As a result of 
the most strenuous appeals to the states to raise 
their quotas, Washington's army was increased 
from some one thousand five hundred men in Jan- 
uary, 1777, to about four thousand in March, but 
from that time imtil summer desertions and enlist- 
ments were about equal.* 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IV., 447. 




DURING the long and disheartening campaign 
of 1776, while Washington was being driven 
out of New York, up and across the Hudson to New 
Jersey, and across that state into Pennsylvania, the 
several states were courageously adopting new gov- 
ernments — ^preparing to govern themselves in their 
own way. The political union with Great Britain 
was severed if they could make good the Declara- 
tion of Independence, but America had yet to free 
herself from the old European forms of govern- 
ment. To break from Great Britain was mere re- 
bellion; but to set up new political institutions 
which might better the lot of mankind would be 
a real revolution — an achievement the most im- 
portant in the political history of the world. Men 
felt the gravity of their work, and, as John Adams 
said, the "manufacture of governments" became 
for a time "as much talked of as that of saltpetre 
was before." 

The problem before the leaders of that day was a 
serious one. John Adams had seen with delight ' ' an 



end to royal style, titles, and authority," but neither 
he nor Washington, nor Franklin nor Jefferson nor 
Jay, had ever, until very recently, expressed a prefer- 
ence for a republic. George III. was renounced, not 
because he was a king, but because he was a tyrant. 
The thirteen colonies which had cast off their alle- 
giance to him could not for the moment find a sub- 
stitute for his unifying royal office, but each for it- 
self set about forming separate republics * modelled 
upon the old charter governments, yet altered to 
meet certain political ideals which for the time held 
fast hold upon American minds. Side by side with 
the struggle for American liberty and the growth 
of the idea of independence was seen a rise of demo- 
cratic power in America. 

In the making of the new frames of government 
the American leaders were realizing the teachings 
of political philosophy. Following certain theories, 
they were making new political experiments — sub- 
stituting for monarchy and nobility democratic 
forms, some of which had been suggested by the 
political thinkers of a century before, but which 
could get no trial in the English system of that day. 
New ideas there were also which were the product of 
the present revolution; and, again, there were old 
ideas which, in new environment, had come to have 
a different meaning for Americans than for English- 
men. For the moment there seemed nothing to 

^ The local governments were not interfered with, the town, 
parish, and county remaining undisturbed. 


prevent the trial of every theory, old or new, except 
the conflicting ideas of the men taking part in the 
work. The social-compact idea could now be tried ; 
the objects and limitations of government could be 
stated in every form; the long-nurtured prejudice 
against the executive could be vented; the growth 
of a privileged class in America could be stopped, 
and the rights of the individual could be forever 
preserved in a bill of rights. Finally, the colonists' 
right of rebellion might be defended and condoned. 
Many of their ideals were to fail of attainment, but 
we must measure from the depths out of which they 
ascended rather than from the heights which they 
failed to reach. 

The method by which these new governments 
were to be created was suggested by the dominant 
idea of the time. It was assumed by the construc- 
tive political leaders of that time that all men are 
created free to rule themselves, equal so far as any 
jurisdiction or authority to rule themselves is con- 
cerned. No man is bom ruler and governor of 
others ; hence the Fathers did not look about for a 
bom ruler, but rather sought some fitter repository 
for sovereignty. Primitive men, their philosophers 
told them, tired of protecting and defending them- 
selves against every danger, entered into a social 
compact, giving up certain rights in order to insure 
the protection of others. History had no account 
of this transaction, but there was no need to bother 
with proof; the present problem of supplying new 


governments could be met with the simple axiom 
that *' governments derive their just powers from 
the consent of the governed." That alone demon- 
strated to the patriot mind that the people should 
be the basis of all legitimate political authority. 
To form a new government, therefore, it was neces- 
sary that there be a social compact between all the 
citizens and each citizen, that certain laws for com- 
mon good should govern all. It was obviously im- 
possible for all the people of a province to come to- 
gether for the purpose of forming this compact; 
wherefore, after leaving the work to their assem- 
blies for a time, they gradually evolved the scheme of 
special constitutional conventions in which the rep- 
resentatives of the sovereign people could draught 
a compact which the people could then accept or 
refuse at their will. 

Up to the day when independence was declared, 
three states — Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and 
South Carolina — had formed temporary govern- 
ments, and Virginia had framed a constitution for 
a permanent one. On the very day that Lee's mo- 
tion was adopted (July 2, 1776) New Jersey's pro- 
vincial congress issued a constitution which was to 
be "firm and inviolable" if there should be no rec- 
onciliation with Great Britain, but ''temporary and 
provisional" in case of such an event. ^ Thus far 
haste and confusion and unfavorable conditions had 

* Texts of all the operative Revolutionary constitutions are 
in Poore, Charters and CQt^stifutions, 


prevented any state framing a government in the 
ideal way. The bodies which did the work were 
revolutionary and not specifically empowered to 
make a constitution. They not only made laws 
while framing the government, but they executed 
those laws, and their committees sat in judgment 
like a court. 

It remained for the little state of Delaware to do 
the work in a more regular way. In July, 1776, the 
old assembly recommended that the people choose 
deputies who should meet at Newcastle, in August, 
to form a government "on the authority of the 
people." ^ In September the " representatives being 
chosen by the freemen of the said state for that ex- 
press purpose" published the results of their work 
as binding on the people.^ 

Though all the remaining original states adopted 
constitutions during the progress of the war, none 
did so in the way now considered normal except 
Massachusetts. Her first draught (1779) was re- 
jected by the people in their town-meetings,^ partly 
because it was *'a high-toned government" and did 
not secure equality of representation or contain a 
declaration of rights; partly because the work had 
been done by an assembly sitting as a convention. 
It is dangerous to have a government overthrown, or 
made, at the caprice of a small body of temporary 

* Poore, Charters and Constitutions, I., 273. 

'J. A. Jameson, Constitutional Conventions, 127. 

' Bradford, Hist, of Mass., II., 158 and App., 349. 


representatives not elected for the purpose, and the 
people very sensibly refused to approve of such a 
precedent, though it had been permitted in the other 
states. Besides, as one town-meeting declared/ "it 
is no time when foes are in the midst of us and an 
army at our doors to consider how the country shall 
be governed, but rather to provide for its defence." 
As a result of this failure the next attempt was 
made with the utmost care. The legislature of 
Massachusetts directed the selectmen of the several 
towns to learn from the qualified voters whether 
they desired that a constitution be made. Would 
they instruct their next year's representatives to 
vote for the calling of a convention for that pur- 
pose? The people assented to both propositions, 
and the next legislature provided for the election 
of delegates to a constitutional convention. The 
delegates were elected, and, when they met, John 
Adams, James Bowdoin, and Samuel Adams were 
designated to draught a constitution. After fully 
discussing the draught it was adopted with few 
changes and sent out to the people to consider in 
their town-meetings. They spent days discussing 
the new instrument, sentence by sentence, adjourn- 
ing from day to day ; assigning parts to select com- 
mittees; showing independence of judgment, mod- 
eration, and practical good sense in the amend- 
ments which they suggested, nearly a thousand in 

*J. Franklin Jameson, Study of the Const, and Pol. Hist 
of the States, 24. 


number. After the instrument had thus passed 
the scrutiny of the people the convention reas- 
sembled and declared "the constitution established 
by and for the inhabitants of Massachusetts." At 
last the democratic theory of the origin of govern- 
ment had been realized in practice. 

In the making of these eleven new governments — 
for Connecticut and Rhode Island kept their colonial 
charters — our forefathers used, as we know, only 
the stuff that was at hand, the constitution of Eng- 
land, or what they thought it to be, and the existing 
constitutions of the colonies. Out of this material 
and the political philosophy of the past decade re- 
publics were to be created. If any elements were 
lacking they must be spun from the ingenious brains 
of men like Mason, Jefferson, Madison, Jay, or the 
"brace of Adamses." 

In the preambles and bills of rights or in the body 
of the new instruments the colonial statesmen em- 
bodied the hopeful philosophy of the time. The 
long-pent-up theories of an ideal society and govern- 
ment — the ideas of right which had made them so 
touchy when the British government balked their 
wishes — all these were suddenly poured out in a 
flood of political maxims. The object of govern- 
ment, they declared, is to secure to the people under 
it their happy existence. It must furnish to in- 
dividuals the power of enjoying in safety and tran- 
quillity their natural rights and the blessings of life. 
The power is the people's. They are not to be con- 


trolled except by laws to which they or their repre- 
sentatives have consented. The magistrates vested 
with legislative, executive, and judicial functions 
are trustees and servants, and accountable always.* 
This delegation of power was a favorite theme. 
Not only were the people originally the source of 
power, but they must continue to be such. To this 
end government must be checked, be ever under 
suspicion, and limited in many ways. Its power to 
enforce law was restricted by prohibiting a stand- 
ing army, which was declared dangerous in times of 
peace. The few powers that government had should 
be balanced and apportioned among the several 
branches that they might each restrain and correct 
the other. This was a lesson learned in their colonial 
days, and one of their political teachers, Montes- 
quieu, had thought that the English government, 
which was the American model in many respects, 
was thus balanced. The legislative department, it 
was provided,^ should never exercise executive or 
judicial powers, and likewise the executive none of 
the legislative or judicial functions, nor the judiciary 
the powers of the other branches — "to the end it 
may be a government of laws, and not of men. " To 
this separation of powers the fathers added the 
safeguard of short terms of office. Officers should, 

* Fa. Constitution, Bill of Rights, § 2; Mass. Constitution, 
preamble and pt. i., art. v.; N. H. Constitution, § 12; "The 
People the Best Governors," Am. Hist. Rev., I., 285. 

' Mass. Constitution, pt. i., art. xxx. 


from time to time, return among the people and feel 
again the people's burdens and wants. Election 
might return them to office, but their tenure should 
be brief, for ** where annual elections end tyranny 
begins." Of all abominations hereditary office was 
declared the worst. To assure the people of an 
opportunity to influence their representatives, even 
after election, the right of petition and of assembling 
was guaranteed in Pennsylvania's constitution.* 

In spite of much talk of the balance of power, 
however, the real power was placed with the legis- 
lature — ' ' the best security of liberty " — " the founda- 
tion of all government." Years of quarrelling with 
royal governors had made them very jealous of the 
executive — of "one-man power." They did not 
distinguish between a governor, the creature of the 
king, and one of their own choice. As Jay said, 
"It takes time to make sovereigns out of subjects." 
Blind to the new conditions, they made the state 
executive a sorry figure. In eight states he was 
elected by the legislatures, and thus became their 
creature. Ten states limited his term of office to a 
year; in eleven states he had no veto. A nimiber of 
states contrived a council of state to advise the 
governor. The legislature, as a rule, chose this 
council and the civil officers upon whom the gov- 
ernors must depend for administrative service. In 
Virginia, where Lord Dunmore was still fresh in 
mind, the governor could not adjourn or prorogue 

* Pa. Constitution, arts, xv., xvi. 


the legislature. An executive was, they believed, a 
necessary evil, a demon to be bound. The fathers 
feared, not incapacity or inefficiency, but the power 
to oppress, and they had not yet learned that a 
legislature may be the worst of all oppressors. 

The chief interest of the patriot constitution- 
makers was in the negative side of government. The 
individual was set in opposition to the governing 
power. His natural rights must be protected 
against the government. The state, said the rev- 
olutionary theorists, did not, as was intimated in 
England's fundamental charters, give or yield rights 
to the individual, but by his own nature he had them. 
That was America's contribution to the theory of 
the state. The idea of the inherent and sacred 
rights of the individual had chiefly a religious sig- 
nificance in the Reformation era. Roger Williams 
had introduced the ripened idea into America, where 
it soon took on political significance.^ Later, James 
Otis proclaimed its meaning for the colonies. Par- 
liament might seize every American charter, still 
''the natural, inherent, and inseparable rights of the 
colonists, as men and as citizens, would remain." 

The English ''Bill of Rights" and the "Magna 
Charta" spoke only of an inherited, not an eternal, 
natural right. ^ Hamilton scorned mere inherited 
rights that must "be rummaged for among old parch- 
ments or musty records." The sacred rights of 

* Richman, Rhode Island, passim. 
' Stubbs, Sekct Charters, 296, 523. 


mankind, he declared, were "written as with a sun- 
beam in the whole volume of human nature." John 
Adams found them "rooted in the constitution of 
the intellectual and moral world" — founded "in 
the frame of human nature." To protect these 
natural rights, the makers of the Virginia constitu- 
tion made a list or a bill of them, which was draught- 
ed by George Mason and placed in the forefront of 
their frame of government. This was the first and 
most famous bill of rights, but, one by one, Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina adopted 
like bills in the year of independence. Vermont, 
Massachusetts, and New Hampshire followed, and 
other states, though they had no special bills, made 
like provisions in the body of their constitutions. 

Virginia's bill, adopted June 12, 1776, contained 
much of the thought and phrase of the Declaration 
of Independence, which it antedated by more than 
a fortnight. Other bills added rights not in this 
prototype, but in the same spirit, proclaiming the 
current theories of government and giving in detail 
an assurance of all man's natural rights. Free- 
dom of speech and of the press and of religious 
worship were guaranteed ; the English common-law 
guarantees of personal liberty were placed in the 
fundamental law: "A freeman's remedy against 
a restraint of his liberty ought not to be de- 
nied or delayed." ^ The people's representatives 
alone should have the power to suspend the laws. 

^ iV, C, Qqn^titution, § 13, 


Jury trial was guaranteed; the accused must be 
faced with his accusers, and he himself fully heard, 
but not compelled to witness against himself. Re- 
membering some of their complaints against the 
British government, the fathers forbade general 
warrants where the offence was not particularly 
described and supported by evidence. Security 
from unreasonable search of persons and papers 
was pledged. Cruel and unusual punishments were 
prohibited, as were also retrospective laws. Es- 
pecially in the matter of punishments the patriots 
showed a revulsion from the stem British code.* 
Excessive bail and fines were also declared wrong. 
Not forgetful of the chief cause of their war with 
England, they provided that no subsidy, tax, or im- 
post should be laid without the consent of the people 
or their representatives. These rights were not, as in 
English charters, extorted from an unwilling king, 
but were withheld by the sovereign people from their 
agents of government. 

In their jealousy of any power but that of the 
common people, the constitution - makers spoke 
their dislike of privilege and hereditary rank. Ten 
years of discussion of the rights of man and the 
equality of men — theories intended by the leaders to 
apply only to the controversy with England — had 
not been lost on the masses of the people. Con- 
servative traditions were struck down. In the 
middle colonies and South Carolina the democracy 

^ Poore, Charters and Constitutions, II., 1627. 

14^ American revolution [1776 

fought not only for independence, but for their own 
rights as against the aristocracy/ 

The Americans were starting out — first among the 
peoples of the earth — without a privileged class, and 
they meant to forestall the establishment of one. 
**No man or set of men," they declared,^ ''are en- 
titled to exclusive or separate emoluments or priv- 
ileges from the community, but in consideration of 
public services," and office should not be hereditary. 
Government was instituted for the common benefit, 
not for the benefit of any single man, family, or set 
of men. Four states declared in their constitutions 
against the entailment of estates, that chief support 
of hereditary aristocracy.^ In Virginia, where there 
existed the only aristocracy America has known, 
the subject was omitted in the constitution, but the 
chief prop was withdrawn in October, 1 776, by a stat- 
ute which did away with the whole system of entail.^ 
This system, which protected estates even against 
the extravagance of spendthrift owners, went down 
before the audacious reformer Jefferson.^ Primo- 
geniture followed. To the plea that the elder son 
might at least have a double share, Jefferson re- 
plied, "Not until he can eat a double allowance 
of food and do a double allowance of work." For 
this aristocracy of wealth and social inheritance 
the great democrat hoped to substitute an "ar- 

* Schafer, Am. Hist. Assoc, Report, 1900, I., 357-370. 

' Va. and A^. C. Constitutions. ^ Ga., N. C, S. C, and Pa. 

* Hening, Statutes, IX., 226. ^ Morse, Thomas Jefferson, 39. 


istocracy of virtue and talent, which nature wisely- 
provided for the direction of the interests of so- 

Finally, in defence of their own rebellion against 
the king, the patriots declared in their bills of rights 
that the doctrine of non-resistance to arbitrary 
power and oppression was absurd and slavish. Even 
after the citizen had made a contract with the other 
citizens to surrender part of his rights, if he did not 
receive an equivalent, the surrender was void.^ 
The revolutionary philosophy had long ago disposed 
of the men to whom the powers of government were 
delegated. The president of Harvard College had 
declared that if magistrates forget their duty ''rea- 
son and justice require that they should be discard- 
ed" ; and a leading Boston patriot had gone so far 
as to assert that ''the reluctant poignard of a Bru- 
tus, the crimsoned axe of a Cromwell, or the reeking 
dagger of a Ravaillac " is preferable to a degrading 

The overthrow of the ancient system of govern- 
ment seemed complete, and the men who had led 
the reform movements exchanged congratulations. 
"The people," Jefferson wrote to Franklin, "seem 
to have laid aside the monarchical and taken up 
the republican government with as much ease as 

* N. H. Constitution, art. iii. There is little doubt that 
many of the makers of the federal constitution believed fully 
in this doctrine, though the}^ did not embody the idea in the 
instrument. Its logical consequence is the right of secessioji — ' 
if the person or state has the power, 


would have attended their throwing off an old gar- 
ment and putting on a new suit of clothes." Yet, 
with all they had accomplished, they had not so 
fully donned the new garment of democracy as they 
thought. Over half a century elapsed before de- 
mocracy was fully clothed with its own raiment. 
Notwithstanding some relaxations of the suffrage, 
clearly due to the influence of revolutionary ideas, 
the new governments, as the old, derived their *' just 
powers" from the consent of the property -owners 
and the tax-payers, not the plain people. Virginia 
considered herself very liberal in giving the right of 
suffrage to all men having ''sufficient evidence of 
permanent, common interest with, and attachment 
to, the community." Massachusetts took pride in 
having granted to " those having the qualifications" 
equal rights to elect officers and to be elected. Man- 
hood suffrage existed only in Vermont, but she 
was not yet recognized in the sisterhood of states.* 
The renters of houses, the owners of a certain 
number of acres, those taxed for property or en- 
joying certain incomes were in general the qualified 

The privilege of holding office was also denied the 
poor. Besides a belief in certain creeds and doc- 
trines, a candidate must have certain property quali- 
fications, which increased the dignity of the office.^ 

* Poore, Charters, etc., 1909, 958, 962, 1861. 
' See chart in Miller's Qualifications^ Am. Hist. As^oc, R£port, 
1899, I., 10^. 


There was not even proportional representation in 
the legislature. A county or city or town was 
represented on the basis of its tax -payers or free- 
holders, not on the basis of the number of human 
heads it contained. In three states the senate con- 
tained an equal number of representatives from each 
count}^ regardless of their proportional taxes and 
population. There was left, in a word, for future 
generations the work of putting in many of the de^ 
tails of democracy, not all of which are attained to 
this day. 

To understand these many apparent inconsisten- 
cies, we must remember the conditions under which 
the real leaders of reform constantly worked. John 
Jay drew the picture graphically in a letter to Rut- 
ledge. **We have a government, you know, to 
form, and God only knows what it will resemble. 
Our politicians, like some guests at a feast, are per- 
plexed and undetermined which dish to prefer." ^ 
The statesmen with broad views were obliged to get 
the consent of stubborn, narrow-minded, bigoted 
men to every clause of the constitutions which they 
draughted. Political tricksters, in the hope of per- 
sonal gain, delayed and aggravated them. Wild, 
impractical theorists annoyed and hindered them 
with impossible schemes. Timid conservatives had 
to be won over, and there were unyielding ones with 
whom they must compromise. After all this was 
done the result was not what they wished, but it was 

* Jay, Correspondence and Pub. Papers, I., 08. 


the compromise with which the true statesman is 

By the spring of 1777 every state had established 
a fully equipped government, either permanent or 
temporary. Georgia and New York were the last 
to set up for themselves, though Massachusetts did 
not get a frame of government until 1780; while 
South Carolina and New Hampshire, in 1778 and 
1783, remade their hastily constructed first consti- 

One of the first steps taken by the new govern- 
ments was to require from the people an assurance 
of their allegiance. The founders of the new states 
felt justified in this demand, because, as they rea- 
soned, the political struggle was over, the Whigs 
were triumphant, and the new state created by 
them had the sovereign right to take the measures 
necessary for its preservation. Every one had had 
time to determine whether he preferred American or 
British citizenship. 

In all states, ran the preambles of the test laws, 
protection and allegiance are and ought to be recip- 
rocal, and those who will not bear the latter are not 
entitled to the benefits of the former. Test laws were 
necessary, too, as a war measure.^ Men could not 
be sheltered under a government which they were 
trying to subvert. There was reason to suspect, 
the Whigs asserted, that the affected neutrality of 

^Analysis of preambles of the "Test Laws," in Van Tyne, 
Royalists, 318-326, 


some had been dictated by a poverty of spirit and 
an undue attachment to property. The internal 
enemy in the guise of a neutral was felt to be quite 
as dangerous as an out-and-out traitor. 

Against all this argument the loyal or would-be 
neutral inhabitants made a strong appeal. **Had 
you," they protested, "at the beginning of the war, 
permitted every one differing in sentiment from you 
to take the other side, or at least to have removed 
out of the state with their property, ... it would 
have been a conduct magnanimous and just.^ But 
now, after restraining those persons from removing ; 
punishing them if in the attempt they were ap- 
prehended; selling their estates if they escaped; 
compelling them to the duties of subjects under 
heavy penalties; deriving aid from them in the 
prosecution of the war" — then to compel them to 
take an oath was an outrage. Even the expedi- 
ency of an oath was doubtful. It might actually 
injure the Whig cause, because it is sometimes dan- 
gerous to probe a wound too deeply. Men who 
would do no harm if undisturbed would become 
implacable enemies if brought to bay by such a 

The Whigs, however, were not daunted by argu- 
ment. They passed test laws in every state, and made 
them strong. The juror must declare before the 
Everliving God and the world that the war of the 
colonies against Great Britain was just and neces- 

* Life of Peter Van Schaack, 112 et seq. 


sary.^ He promised not to aid the British forces, 
and pledged himself to betray all plots against his 
state. All allegiance and obedience to George III. 
was renounced and transferred to the state in which 
the juror resided. This oath was especially required 
of former agents of the British government who were 
now retained in the service of the new states. They 
were, in fact, the first to be asked for an oath, though 
soon all new officers, lawyers practising in the 
courts, professional men of all classes, and finally 
all male citizens of age were offered the test. The 
oath was regarded as such valuable evidence of 
faithful citizenship that refugees, signers of loyal 
addresses, and suspected persons in general were 
often debarred from signing, though a conciliatory 
policy as a rule prevailed. Exemption was granted 
only to soldiers, military officers, and delegates in 
Congress, who were risking too much in the cause to 
be doubted. Quakers, Mennonites, and Dunkers 
escaped because of their religious scruples. 

There was no avoiding the disagreeable* duty. 
The law was read in every town-meeting, from the 
pulpit, and from the steps of the court-house; it 
was announced in the newspapers and at the muster 
of the militia. The justice of the peace usually ad- 
ministered it, giving a certificate after the oath was 
signed, and in some cases getting a fee which made 
the compulsory oath in no wise pleasanter. It was 

^ Laws of Pennsylvania, June 13, 1777; Public Records of 
Conn., I., 4. 


like a passport, however, and without it no man 
dared stir abroad. Members of the legislature were 
ever on the watch for non-jurors, as were village 
selectmen, committeemen, and military officers, who 
might at any time cast a negligent non- juror into 
jail, where he paid his own expenses, and his chance 
of getting a proper trial was poor. Indeed, the 
fact of not holding a certificate was equivalent 
to a conviction, and the penalties were meted out 

Political, civil, and legal disabilities were the 
least of consequences, for unless one could secure 
heavily bonded sureties one might be disarmed, 
imprisoned, specially taxed, or even suffer confisca- 
tion of property. The oath might not be escaped 
even then, for overzealous agents of committees 
and rough bands of militia often compelled men, as 
they expressed it, to ''swallow the oath." Im- 
pelled by spite or tempted by the bounty which the 
law awarded through the fee, the justices hunted, 
coaxed, and threatened, and almost herded their 
victims. Many signed rather than suffer persecu- 
tion, but thousands were thus compelled to fly to 
the British lines. 

Although many escaped taking the oath alto- 
gether upon one excuse or another, yet, in a meas- 
ure, the early test acts cleared the decks of the 
thirteen new ships of state and left them free fur 
action, The enemies of the new governments and 
* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 318, App. B. 


the half-hearted supporters became better known, 
though many, like the ''vicar of Bray," recklessly 
swore allegiance to the party whose fortimes for the 
moment were uppermost. At least the new govern- 
ments were making themselves felt among the peo- 
ple, and the very exercise of power tended to 
strengthen them. 



IN the spring of 1777 the British government re- 
newed the plan of campaign which had been 
partly executed in the preceding year. The city of 
New York was now in British hands, and Washing- 
ton at Morristown with his remnant of an army 
was not a serious menace to its possession. At the 
north, though Carleton, in 1776, had failed to seize 
Ticonderoga, yet he had driven an entering wedge 
which would greatly aid an army starting south 
from that point. Lord George Germaine and Gen- 
eral Burgoyne,^ taking this view of the field, and 
knowing that the valleys of the Mohawk and the 
Hudson, which were then the only inhabited parts 
of New York, were filled with Tories, determined to 
send three armies along these seeming paths of least 
resistance, severing the x^merican confederacy at 
the Hudson, and ending the war by subduing re- 
bellious New England, after it was thus isolated. 

General Burgoyne himself was to lead an army 
down from Canada, taking Ticonderoga, and thence 

' Burgoyne 's letter, in Gentleman's Magazhie, 1778, p. 156. 



advancing down the line of the Hudson to Albany. 
Colonel St. Leger was to take a smaller force to 
Oswego on Lake Ontario, and thence advance upon 
Fort Stanwix on the upper waters of the Mohawk, 
taking that with the aid of Tories and Indians, and 
coming down the Mohawk to meet Burgoyne at 
Albany. Sir William Howe, meanwhile, was to 
ascend the Hudson from the city of New York, 
forcing with the main army the passes of the high- 
lands and joining the other two armies at Albany.^ 
The success of the campaign, it will be seen, depended 
upon perfect co-operation. St. Leger' s movement 
might fail with no fatal consequences, except to 
his own army, but Burgoyne's and Howe's armies 
must support each other faithfully, if they were to 
prevent the danger of being overwhelmed in detail 
by the Americans operating from the centre of the 
converging lines of British attack. 

It is easy to criticise the plan when we know the 
outcome. The dangers proved manifold. Bur- 
goyne's army and that of St. Leger had to move 
through a wilderness almost trackless, which made 
it impossible to tell how far they could march in a 
given time. Again, the ministry had forgotten that 
Burgoyne's proposed route, though it was through 
country which was loyal enough, was flanked by 
New England territory the hostility of which was 
unquestioned. The situation gave the eastern 
militia precisely the work that they could do best: 
* Fortescue, History of the British Army, III., 204-207. 


thousands of sturdy farmers who would not join the 
regular army were ready enough to shoulder a mus- 
ket for a few weeks and fight the invader. The 
greatest of all the errors, however, was the attempt to 
direct the campaign from London instead of leaving 
the generals in the field the freedom of choice at a 
critical moment. How fatal this interference was 
the story will show. 

About June i, 1777, Burgoyne set out with a 
superb army of nearly eight thousand men — includ- 
ing about four thousand British regulars, three 
thousand German troops, and about six hundred 
and fifty Canadian militia and Indians. By July i 
he appeared before Ticonderoga, where St. Clair, with 
three thousand men, awaited his attack. Though 
the fort, properly manned, was strong otherwise, it 
was commanded by the summit of a crag hardly 
a mile distant.^ General Gates, who was in com- 
mand during the preceding year and up to within 
three weeks of Burgoyne' s attack, had refused to 
fortify this point, and St. Clair had delayed until 
too late. The British dragged cannon to the sum- 
mit and the Americans were plainly trapped unless 
they at once abandoned the fort.^ Saving what 
stores they could they fled in the night, and, though 
pursued and harassed, they joined General Schuyler, 
who at Fort Edward was in command of the main 
northern army. 

^ St. Clair Papers, I., 76; Tuckerman, Schuyler, 193, 194. 
^ Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 1571. 


So general was the misconception of the impor- 
tance of Ticonderoga, which had lost much of its 
value since the capture of New York, that all Amer- 
ica was alarmed at its loss. John Adams talked 
wildly of shooting a general/ and though in the fol- 
lowing year St. Clair's flight was vindicated by a 
court-martial/ yet Gates, the real culprit, was from 
now on talked of as the successor of Schuyler, who 
in some way was blamed for Ticonderoga' s loss. 
To understand this unjust distribution of censure 
and reward requires a brief survey of American 
political and military affairs. 

The spring of 1777 found the relations between 
the several states less unified than in the preceding 
year. Jealousy between the states was so bitter 
that when Congress was called upon in February 
to appoint five new major-generals ^ they could not 
make appointments according to merit, but were 
obliged to divide the prizes betw^een the several 
states. In consequence of this jealousy Benedict 
Arnold's desperate march through the Maine woods, 
his unsuccessful but heroic attack upon Quebec, and 
his defence of Lake Champlain could not be rewarded 
because his state already had more than her share 
of major-generals. "* 

A still less creditable reason for this neglect of 

* John Adams, Familiar Letters, 292. 
"^ St. Clatr Papers, I., 95. 

^Journals of Congress, February 19, 1777. 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), V., 304. 


Arnold was his friendship for General Schuyler, a 
man of noble and upright character, who belonged 
to one of New York's finest families, and who had 
from the first ably commanded the northern depart- 
ment of the army. Schuyler was hated by New 
England because he actively defended New York's 
claims to Vermont,^ and this hostility of the New 
England men was ably seconded by General Gates, 
who hoped for Schuyler's place should he lose it. 
Gates had gained som.e unearned credit when Carle- 
ton failed to attack Ticonderoga in the fall of 1776, 
and he now vociferously took New England's view 
in the Vermont dispute, thus rising greatly in the 
opinion of the two powerful Adamses. Still an- 
other fact aided the designing Gates. Out of the ill- 
fated Canadian campaign grew foohsh charges 
against Schuyler and Arnold, and though both stood 
an investigation and proved the charges to be un- 
just,^ yet there was left a cloud of prejudice and mis- 
understanding which, later, cost Schuyler his place 
and subjected Arnold to a series of slights and in- 
sults which finally undermined his patriotism. 

For the present, Arnold yielded to Washington's 
entreaty, and promised to serve with his old rank. 
Almost at once he became the hero of a brilliant 
exploit near his home at New Haven where he was 
visiting.^ Tryon with two thousand British troops 

^ Tuckerman, Schuyler, 223-227. 
^Journals of Congress, July 30, 1776. 
^Arnold, Arnold, 130. 


destroyed the patriot stores at Danbury and fired 
the town. The local militia resisted, and Arnold 
with six hundred men engaged the British force at 
Ridgefield (April 27, 1777), defeating them and bare- 
ly allowing the remnant to reach the sea and escape. 
The soldiers declared that Arnold ''fought like Ju- 
lius Caesar"; and Congress now made him major- 
general, without, however, restoring his relative 

The British attacks on Danbury were part of the 
preliminary work of Howe in preparation for his 
advance up the Hudson. Washington had collected 
his stores at Danbury and Peekskill ready for his 
campaign to prevent Howe's ascent of the river. 
The British general was not intending that move- 
ment at once, however, for he had determined on 
an attack upon Philadelphia, a design of his own, 
which was approved and urged upon him by General 
Lee, who was still a prisoner in New York, and whose 
fears for his own safety had led him to court British 
favor by treason against the American cause. ^ 

As Howe was abput to set out upon this expedi- 
tion, which the ministry had quite approved, he re- 
ceived (June 5) a copy of the plan of the northern 
campaign, but no word of instruction for himself. 
Still following his own plan, however, he prepared to 
embark his army and to reach Philadelphia by sea. 
Washington, expecting Howe to go by land, moved 

^Journals of Congress, May 2, 1777. 
^ Moore, Treason of Chas. Lee, 84-93. 


down from Morristown to Middlebrook, in the hope 
of preventing the passage of the British army.* 
Howe saw his aggressive attitude, and with the idea 
of tempting him to a general engagement delayed 
and manoeuvred for three weeks. After this serious 
loss of time he embarked, early in July, some four- 
teen thousand men with whom to capture Phila- 
delphia. Still he delayed until good news came 
from Burgoyne; then, after losing a week by foul 
winds, he got his fleet under way, July 23, just as 
Burgoyne in the north was pushing his way through 
the tangled forests from Ticonderoga to Fort Ed- 
ward, and when Howe should have been going up 
the Hudson to meet him at Albany. 

Washington, who knew of Burgoyne' s advance 
from the north, thought that, unless his movement 
was a mere feint, Howe must be about to move up 
the Hudson to his support.^ When, therefore, the 
news came (July 31) that Howe was off Delaware 
Bay, Washington was greatly puzzled ; nor was the 
mystery cleared up then, for the naval officers who 
were with Howe gave him such weighty reasons for 
not disembarking in the Delaware^ that he yielded, 
and lost twenty-four precious days more, sailing 
around to Chesapeake Bay and up to Elkton, where 
the troops were landed on August 25, just thirteen 
miles from the point where they might have landed 

* Washington , Writings (Ford's ed.), V., 444, 450. 

Ubid., VI., I, 2. 

^ Fortescue, History of the British Army, III., 212. 


nearly a. month earlier.* Here Howe received a note 
from Germaine, hoping that he might finish this 
campaign in'time to return to the aid of the northern 
army. That was now almost impossible, as Wash- 
ington clearly saw, and he wrote, exultingly, now 
let all New England "turn out and entirely crush 
Genl Burgoyne." ^ 

Already, in fact, Burgoyne had met such an ac- 
cumulation of difficulties and disasters that relief 
must be speedy if it would save him. As his army 
drew near Fort Edward, General Schuyler sensibly 
withdrew to the south as far as Stillwater.^ Inade- 
quate transportation facilities delayed the British, 
while their troubles increased daily.** The New 
England farmers were maddened by the murder of 
a young woman named Jane McCrea, an atrocious 
act done by some of Burgoyne' s Indian allies.^ No 
one was more greatly shocked than Burgoyne him- 
self, and his stringent orders against pillage and 
murder caused many of the Indians to leave his 
camp in a rage. 

His failing supplies were, however, a more serious 
matter. The patriot committees throughout the 
region had compelled every one to remove cattle 
and stores from the path of the British army. There 
seemed nothing to do but to make an attempt to 

^ Kemble Papers, I., 476. 

2 Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.),VI., 49, n. 

' Thacher, Military Journal, 91. 

* Stevens, Facsimiles, 1665. 

^Thacher, Military Journal, 95. 


seize the American stores at Bennington/ A motley 
force of Germans, British, Canadians, and Indians, 
under Colonel Baum, was sent to unite in this at- 
tack with the many loyalists who swarmed in the 
country, longing, as Burgoyne was assured, to take 
up arms for the king. To repel this attack, John 
Stark, acting under the sovereignty of New^ Hamp- 
shire,^ and on his own responsibility, raised eight 
hundred men and marched to meet the invader. 

When Stark met the British force (August 15, 
1777) Baum quickly chose a strong position and 
threw up intrenchments.^ It was raining torrents 
and the attack was delayed a day, Stark promising 
his men that when the Lord sent sunshine they 
should have fighting enough. On the morrow, 
iVugust 16, the backwoodsmen's craft was shown 
in surrounding their unsuspecting victims, and the 
British forces were thrown into a panic by an en- 
circling fire which compelled them to surrender 
within two hours. The tables were then nearly 
turned by the appearance of a relief party of 
five hundred Germans, but American reinforce- 
ments under Seth Warner saved the day, and the 
fresh British detachment was also defeated.^ The 
evil of this disaster to Burgoyne was not alone in the 
loss of men, but in the idea that was born in the 

^ Biirgoyne's orders, in Clinton Papers, II., 242. 

^ St. Clair Papers, I., 84, n.; Vermont Hist. Soc, Collections, 
I., 204, 206. ^ Ibid., 218. 

* Thacher, Military journal, 93; Vermont Hist. Soc, Collec- 
tions, I., 207, 223, 22^. 


minds of New England farmers that Burgoyne's 
whole army might be taken. The eager New Eng- 
land yeomanry began to pour in and to swell the 
patriot ranks/ while Burgoyne's hopes for aid from 
St. Leger's force were dashed by the ill reports that 
came daily into his camp. 

St. Leger had landed at Oswego about the middle 
of July.^ He was there joined by Sir John Johnson 
and Colonel John Butler with their Tory followers. 
The Indians of western New York were divided in 
sympathy, but the Mohawks, under Joseph Brant, 
and part of the Iroquois, Cayugas, and Senecas joined 
St. Leger. With this ill-assorted force he advanced 
until, August 3, he appeared before Fort Stanwix. 
The German settlers in that neighborhood, led by 
General Herkimer, came to the rescue of the fort,^ 
and scouts from their force arranged for a combined 
attack on the invader — a sortie from the fort and 
an attack upon St. Leger's rear. 

The co-operation was not perfect, and, Herki- 
mer's approach becoming known, Johnson's Tories 
and Brant's Mohawks prepared an ambuscade in a 
ravine near Oriskany through which the patriot 
force must pass. The Americans entered and were 
partly surrounded, but they fought with such des- 
perate valor that after a struggle with knife, hatchet, 
and bayonet, ttnrivalled in its savage horror, the 

^ Baroness Riedesel, Letters and Journals, 98. 
^ See St. Leger's account, in Gentleman's Magazine, 1778, 
p. 117. ^Clinton Papers, II., 164. 


Indians fled and the Tories retreated.* Herkimer's 
force was too weak to advance, but the sortie from 
the fort was a success, and Johnson's Tories were 
driven across the Mohawk. Though St. Leger's 
force still threatened, yet his prestige had suffered 
and his Indian allies grew so refracfory as to be a 
source of embarrassment. 

While St. Leger continued his siege of Fort Stan- 
wix a patriot force of one thousand two hundred 
men was coming up the Mohawk under Benedict 
Arnold, who had been sent north by Washington, 
and who arrived in Schuyler's camp just in time 
to command this relief expedition.^ When within 
twenty miles of Fort Stanwix, and fearful lest he 
should arrive too late, Arnold sent ahead a half- 
witted Tory, who for his services escaped the death 
of a spy, and who rushed into St. Leger's camp with 
the report that Burgoyne was defeated and that an 
overwhelming force was coming to the relief of the 
fort.^ The disheartened Indians now refused to 
obey commands, stole the camp liquors, and rioted 
all night through the camp, assaulting the soldiers, 
and creating such a panic among the Tories that on 
the following day the whole army dispersed and fled, 
leaving the camp and stores in the patriot possession. 
A mere handful of St. Leger's troops reached Oswego 
and returned with him to Montreal. 

^ Roberts, Battle of Ortskany. 

2 Arnold, Arnold, 154; Clinton Papers, II., 255. 

' 3tone, Campaign of Burgoyne, 213. 


Thus one of the armies that was to divert the at- 
tention of Burgoyne's enemies was now a wreck, 
and instead of aid more enemies were coming. Ar- 
nold was hurrying back, and Morgan with five hun- 
dred riflemen was on his way to the northern army. 
More threatening still, as Burgoyne wrote, ^ ''Wher- 
ever the king's forces point, militia to the number 
of three or four thousand assemble in a few hours." 

The force left in Ticonderoga and his later losses 
reduced Burgoyne's army to about five thousand 
men. He would have fallen back to Fort Edward, 
where he could safely remain awaiting a change of 
the situation in his front, but his instructions were 
imperative. He must go straight on to Albany in 
order to make the junction with Howe. Now ap- 
peared the wretched folly of directing a campaign 
at a distance of three thousand miles from the scene 
of action. It left time and space to fight on the side 
of the Americans. Howe had no imperative orders, 
and although we now know that a despatch was 
draughted giving Howe positive orders to go up the 
Hudson, yet Germaine, finding it unready for signa- 
ture, went off to the country, leaving it unsigned, and 
the paper that might have saved an army never left 
its pigeon-hole. 

At a time when Burgoyne was sorely in need of 
Howe's army to divert some of the enemies who were 
gathering about him, the latter was making his way 
towards the ''rebel capital" at Philadelphia. The 

* Vermont Hist. Soc, Collections , I., 227. 

1777] BURGOYNE: and HOWE 169 

presence of the Continental Congress in that city 
had deluded Howe into the belief that there was the 
centre of the administrative machinery of the coun- 
try. He did not realize that Congress needed only 
a wagon and a few carriages to transport itself and 
its valuable papers to a new seat of government in 
any convenient town. 

After landing at Elkton the British army ad- 
vanced through a region not hostile, but also not 
friendly enough to give much aid. There was no 
uprising of the local militia such as had proved so 
disastrous to Burgoyne in the north. At Brandy- 
wine Creek, a few miles above Wilmington, Wash- 
ington waited to dispute this advance. The pass- 
age of Chadd's Ford, on the Brandywine, while 
the American army eleven thousand strong was 
stationed behind it,^ was no easy task; but the 
well-disciplined British troops made it possible for 
Howe to execute a dangerous flank movement 
which, on September 1 1 , routed one division of the 
American army, and compelled the main army to 
retreat in a confused but not demoralized con- 

Even after losing the battle of the Brand3rwine, 
Washington was still strong enough to delay Howe 
two weeks in his march on Philadelphia. Mean- 
time, many of the inhabitants of the city fled, while 
Congress hurriedly clothed Washington with the 

^ Fortescue says twelve thousand, British Army, 213. 
'Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), V., 56-59. 


powers of a dictator/ and got themselves out of 
harm's way. On September 25 the British army 
took possession of the city. 

In order to hold Philadelphia through the winter, 
Howe must control the Delaware. Besides the ob- 
struction that had been placed in the river, there 
were two forts and a redoubt still held by the 
patriot soldiers. Part of Howe's forces was sent 
to reduce these, and three thousand men were 
detached to escort the supplies sent overland from 
the Chesapeake. There were now less than nine 
thousand men in Howe's main army, and Wash- 
ington resolved to make one last, desperate effort 
to defeat the main body encamped at Germantown. 
Washington's attack was skilfully planned,^ and 
nothing but a dense fog which enveloped all the 
forces engaged seems to have prevented a victory. 
In the confusion a brigade led by Sullivan, which 
was briskly engaged by the enemy in front, was 
attacked in the rear by a part of Greene's brigade, 
and a panic naturally ensued. This misfortune 
threw into confusion the whole plan, which was, 
perhaps, too intricate to be successfully carried out 
by half -trained troops led by inexperienced officers. 

The battle of Germantown, as this was called, 
was fought October 4; and for six weeks longer 
Howe was kept busy getting the control of the 
Delaware, which was absolutely necessary if he was 

^Journals of Congress, August 22, 1777. 
'See "Plan," in Pa. Magazine, XXVI., 387. 


to spend the winter in Philadelphia/ Long before 
he was free to go north Burgoyne was hopelessly en- 
tangled, and when Howe went into winter-quarters 
at Philadelphia, and Washington encamped at Valley 
Forge, the northern army had met its fate. 

Just after the battle of Bennington, and just 
before Burgoyne got the news of St. Leger's failure, 
the command of the American army of the north was 
transferred. Schuyler's enemies had so worked 
upon Congress that at a time when his laurels were 
almost gathered they were snatched away and 
given to Gates. Congress acted August 4,^ but 
Gates took command only after the middle of the 
month. For three weeks thereafter the two armies 
confronted each other on opposite banks of the 
Hudson. Then, while the Green Mountain militia 
hung ''like a gathering storm" upon Burgoyne' s 
left,^ and retreat seemed wise, the British leader 
determined not to abandon Howe, who was then 
supposed to be coming up the Hudson. September 
13, therefore, the whole British army crossed to the 
west bank of the river.'' Retreat was now im- 
possible. The expedition which had been intended, 
as its leader conceived, to be "hazarded," was now 
to be "devoted" — sacrificed,^ that a soldier might 
obey orders which were issued months before and 

1 See "Defences of Philadelphia," in Pa. Mag., XVIII., XIX. 

^Journals of Congress, August 2-4, 1777. 

' Burgoyne, State of the Expedition, Apps. xxiv., xxv. 

* Clinton Papers, II., 431 ; Hadden, Journal, 144. 

^ Annual Register, 1777, XX., 164. 


at a distance of three thousand miles from the scene 
of action. 

To prevent the British advance down the river, 
the American army had taken a fortified position on 
Bemis Heights, which commanded the Hudson and 
the roads leading to the south. Burgoyne hoped to 
carry this position by an attack on the American 
left.* As far as the timid Gates was concerned, 
success might have crowned the effort, but Arnold 
ruined the British plan by anticipating the attack. 
With a command of three thousand men he engaged 
a large part of Burgoyne' s army while Gates held 
eleven thousand men idle on the heights.^ The 
British held the field, but abandoned their previous 
plan and delayed further assault for eighteen days. 
One reason for waiting was that Clinton was re- 
ported coming up the Hudson from New York f but 
while Burgoyne waited his supplies diminished and 
his line of communication was cut by a New Eng- 
land force under General Lincoln. 

The American army constantly grew until more 
than sixteen thousand men confronted Burgoyne' s 
five thousand.^ In desperation the British com- 
mander made another effort, October 7, to turn 
the American's left. Again it was Arnold who saw 
the opportunity for a crushing blow. Despite the 
fact that since the last engagement he had prac- 

* Riedesel, Letters and Journals, 99. 

'Arnold, Arnold, 178-186. 

^Clinton Papers, II., 433. * Jbid., 456. 


tically been deprived of his command by Gates, he 
rode into the midst of the battle and led the de- 
lighted soldiers in one charge after another until the 
field was won and Burgoyne retreated up the river 
to Saratoga, abandoning his sick and wounded.^ 

The Americans had already made the recrossing 
of the Hudson impossible, and their overwhelming 
numbers enabled them so to surround and harass 
the British army that its position became intoler- 
able. Desertion began, the Germans coming over 
* ' in shoals, ' ' as Gates wrote. ^ Burgoyne had no news 
of Clinton, who was in fact coming rapidly up the 
Hudson, quite outwitting Putnam. After taking 
two forts in the highlands he wrote Burgoyne, 
October 8, that there was nothing between him 
and Gates. ^ This cheering news never reached 
Burgoyne, who at last wearied of waiting, and on 
October 14 asked Gates for terms of surrender. 
Three days of negotiations resulted in the "conven- 
tion" of Saratoga, as the surrender was called.^ 

By this agreement the British army was to march 
out with the honors of war, stack their arms, and 
go under guard to Boston, thence taking ship to 
England, after promising to serve no more in the 
American war. There was no attempt to humiliate 
the British troops as they laid down their arms, and 

^ Clinton Papers, II., 384; Riedesel, Letters, 102, 103. 
^ Continental Congress, Papers (MSS.), No. 154, 1., 274. 
^ Lossing, Schuyler, II., 359, 360. 
* Clinton Papers, II., 439-448. 


every courtesy was shown them by the rank and 
file as well as by the officers of the American army. 
Congress, however, wrangled with Burgoyne over 
the carrying out of the terms of the convention,^ and 
ended by disgracefully breaking the public faith and 
never permitting the return of the British troops. 
Some of them escaped, while many were assimilated 
among the American people. 

The result in America of Burgoyne' s surrender was, 
as a contemporary wrote, that "Rebellion, which a 
twelvemonth ago was really a contemptible pygmy, 
is now in appearance become a giant more dreadful 
to the minds of men than Polyphemus of old or the 
sons of Anak." ^ The ultimate effect, however, was 
to set free forces that created changes of world-wide 
extent, bringing into the struggle first France and 
then other European countries, until the embattled 
nations confronted England and compelled her to 
yield. Before entering upon the history of this vast 
conflict we must turn to the political events that 
had been passing while Burgoyne was losing an 
army and Howe was paying dearly for the posses- 
sion of the "rebel capital." 

^Clinton Papers, II., 660-665. 
' Magazine of Am, Hist., VI., 57. 



DURING the eventful years of 1776 and 1777, 
while the thirteen republics of America were 
making new frames of government for themselves, 
they realized the necessity of some sort of a per- 
manent league which would give them strength to 
stand firm among the states of the world. As sep- 
arate communities they were weak; but union of 
some sort would give them power. For the imme- 
diate purposes of united action against Great Britain 
they had a necessary organ in the Continental Con- 
gress, but that it was anything more than an inter- 
state committee of safety few contemporaries seem 
to have believed. People do not appear to have 
thought that in creating the Congress they had given 
it sovereign powers, or that the states had thereby 
lost their individual existence,* or even entered a 
permanent league. The preponderance of evidence 
seems to show that the " creating cause of a state," a 

* Jefferson, Papers (Randolph's ed.), I-, 27; Jefferson, Writings 
(Washington's ed.), I-, 13. 

VOL. IX.— 13 J y q 


"General Will" demanding political unity, did not 
exist. For temporary purposes the people's con- 
ventions permitted Congress to use just so many 
of the powers of the particular states as were ab- 
solutely necessary for effective common defence, 
though the states continued to wield the same 
powers of establishing armies, navies, and foreign 
relations themselves. They used the Congress as a 
means of uniting their forces, but were no more 
willing to be ruled by King Congress than by King 
George. They recognized it merely as the supreme 
** superintending power." ^ The states were for the 
moment seeking an individual independence, not an 
independent union with a central government over 

The spirit of American nationality did not spring 
into full life with the calling of the first Continental 
Congress or with the Declaration of Independence ; 
it was not created by fiat, but in the course of 
nature the great nation of to-day slowly evolved 
from the mere protoplasm of the revolutionary 
time. Aside from a common interest in America's 
liberty and independence, the first sign of its life 
was the desire of the American leaders to form that 
league of their individual states which the logic 
of the situation demanded, and which would make 
them respected by other nations. "The con- 
federacy," said Adams, ''is to make us one in- 
dividual only, it is to form us, like separate parcels 
^R. I. Col. Records, VII., 448, 449. 


of metal, into one common mass."* That was 
what he expected of it, but until the articles were 
drawn and approved, he admitted that the colonies 
were independent individuals. When their bar- 
gain was made they ought to be a single individual. 

Long after the time of the American Revolution, 
when the question of state sovereignty became 
a matter of bitter controversy, there developed a 
philosophical theory that the very act of breaking 
the bonds which united the thirteen colonies with 
Great Britain threw down the barrier between them 
and left them as one nation which vested its 
sovereignty in Congress.^ In a metaphysical sense 
that may be true, but so far as objective institu- 
tions were concerned there were, at least until 
the Articles of Confederation were adopted, thirteen 
independent and sovereign states which banded 
themselves together to fight a common enemy. 
The men of that age were not aware of any meta- 
physical union of their thirteen sovereign states. 
In the thoughts that they expressed some showed 
a desire for a single state,*'' but few thought that such 
a thing existed. It seems certain that at no time 
during the Revolution was there a stronger desire 

^ Jefferson, Papers (Randolph's ed.), I., 27, July 30-August i, 

2 Von Hoist, Constitutional Hist, of the f7. S., I., 8; Jackson's 
message of December 10, 1833, in Richardson, Messages of the 
Presidents; Burgess, Pol. Science and Const. Law, I., loo. Story, 
Lieber, and Pomeroy take the same view. 

^ Jefferson, Papers (Randolph's ed.), I., 26-28. 


for national unity than for the continued sovereignty 
of the several states. 

When, in the first Continental Congress, Patrick 
Henry asked, rhetorically, "Where are your land- 
marks, your boundaries?" and declared that "the 
distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, 
New-Yorkers, and New-Englanders, are no more,"^ 
men shrugged their shoulders, and the repre- 
sentatives of every colony declared against his 
views. When he struck his breast and proclaimed, 
"I am not a Virginian; but an American." . . . 
"All distinctions are thrown down. All America 
is thrown into one mass," he was bluntly answered. 
''A little colony has its all at stake as well as a 
great one," ^ or, in other words, **our identity is 
a precious thing ; we do not propose to be swallowed 
up." Each state needed the aid of every other in 
the desperate struggle for independence, but few 
men thought that to attain this aid the states had 
lost their individuality in Congress. Some even 
expected to dispense with that organ of united 
action as soon as the stress of war was over. North 
Carolina and Pennsylvania expressed that idea in 
their new constitutions, where they provided for 
sending delegates to the Continental Congress "as 
long as such representation shall be necessary."^ 

The states were constantly asserting or exercising 

'John Adams, Works, II., 367. ^ Ibid., 366, 368. 

* Pa. Constitution of lyyy, § n; N. C. Constitution of 1776^ 
§ 37, in Poore, Charters a'^ui Constitutions, 


their sovereignty. Connecticut, in an act adopting 
her old charter as a constitution, stated, "This re- 
pubHc is, and shall forever be and remain, a free, 
sovereign, and independent state — ." South Caro- 
lina, in two constitutions adopted during the war,^ 
provided her government with those peculiar feat- 
ures of sovereignty, the right of making war and 
entering into treaties. Virginia ratified the treaty 
with France,^ and she, as well as other states, 
sent her own agents to Europe to contract a loan, 
and get arms and ships.' Virginia even negotiated 
with Spain for the purpose of establishing a fort 
on Virginia's western border to protect the trading 
interests of the two sovereign states."* Not only 
did the state governments claim sovereignty over 
their citizens, but whenever the people of a par- 
ticular state were brought to the dilemma of 
choosing obedience to Congress or the local state 
governments, the latter were found to be sovereign.* 
The people of the states seem, indeed, to have 
formally vested sovereignty in their state govern- 
ments. Acting in accordance with the compact 
theory, in which the leaders of that age believed, 
the people of the states had surrendered part of 
their rights to the governments created by the con- 

^ Constitution of 1776, § 26; Constitution of 1778, § ^^. 
' Doniol, Participation, IV., 155. 

' Yhint, Madison, 30; 'Wh.2t.Tt0n, Dip. Corresp., III., 240; Sparks, 
Dip. Corresp., II., 203, III., 91. 

* Clark MSS., in Wis. Hist. Soc. Library, LVIIL, 103. 
^ Proc. of Md. Convention, 141-142, 150. 


vStitutions which the people's representatives had 
made. The remaining rights were reserved to the 
people, no part of them being permanently given 
to the Continental Congress, which for a time was 
hardly more than a meeting of the agents appointed 
by the state governments to make the action of the 
thirteen states uniform.^ That the state govern- 
ments, and not the people of the states, sent their 
agents to Congress was emphasized by the fact that 
in all of the states except New Hampshire and 
Georgia the delegates to the Continental Congress, 
after the making of the new state constitutions, 
were elected by the legislatures.^ It might, how- 
ever, be held that the legislatures represented the 
people and their acts were the people's acts. 

The agents from any one state, no matter how 
many there might be, cast but one collective vote. 
Appointed by the state governments, and casting 
one vote for each state government, the delegates 
did not pretend to have received sovereign powers 
from the people. If perchance the delegates went 
beyond the limits set by their instructions the state 
legislatures did not hesitate to rebuke them,^ and 
Congress as a body was quickly checked for any 
step beyond the bounds set by the state govern- 
ments. The whole system was what Madison de- 

^ Rutledge and Sherman, quoted in Hart, Contemporaries, II., 
436, 541- 

^ Poore, Charters and Constitutions, passim. 

^Browne, Maryland, 277; Jameson, Essays in Const. Hist., 


fined as a league or a treaty/ and bore a remark- 
able resemblance to that congress at Laybach in 
182 1, to which the members of the Holy Alliance 
sent representatives who claimed no part of the 
sovereignty of the participating nations. 

The states seemed to acknowledge the sovereignty 
of Congress by turning to it to get advice as to 
setting up new governments, but they did this 
only as they might have written to each of the 
other twelve states to ask whether they might 
depend upon the backing of the rest in taking this 
risky step. Congress did not in reply issue a 
sovereign command, but merely recommended (No- 
vember 3, 1775), first temporary, and then (May 10, 
1776)^ permanent governments. It was the same 
with the subject of independence, except that 
Congress did not advise, but awaited, express in- 
structions from the conventions or legislatures of 
each state, and then voted on the subject by 
colonies. In the words of the Declaration, the rep- 
resentatives of the states of America, united to aid 
each other in attaining independence, proclaimed 
''that these United Colonies are . . . free and inde- 
pendent states'' and ''they have full power to levy 
w^ar . . . and contract alliances." ^ A Pennsylvania 
convention expressed clearly what it thought of 

^Elliot, Debates (Scott's ed.), 416, July 23, 1787. See also 

Marshall's definition in M'CuIloch vs. Md. 
^ Journals of Congress, May lo, 1776. 
^ The italics are the author's, 


this action, saying that, cogent reasons having been 
given " by the honorable continental Congress for the 
declaring this, as well as the other United States of 
America, free and independent, ... we will . . . 
maintain the freedom and independency of this and 
the other United States of America. ' ' ^ Union meant 
for the time being only a prudent inter-colonial 

The things that men said, the powers that they 
gave their state governments, the acts of those 
governments, and the conduct of the Congress itself, 
all show that, in the minds of most men of the time, 
there were thirteen independent states which were 
temporarily acting together in the business of ac- 
quiring their individual independence. Neverthe- 
less, people were beginning to talk of America as a 
political rather than a mere geographical thing, 
especially the citizens of the larger states,^ and 
the wisest men saw that even after their indepen- 
dence should be accomplished they could not exist 
alone, but "must raise an empire of permanent 
duration." To assume that this had already been 
created, however, destroys the whole meaning of 
the political events of the dozen years that followed 
the year of independence. It was a time when 
necessity, like a wonder-working genius, wrought 
tremendous changes, exposing the weakness of par- 
ticularism and suggesting the possibilities of union. 

* Pennsylvania Convention of j^/d-i/po, p. 49. 
' Adarfis, Works, II., 496-502. 


It was the era of a mighty struggle by the men of 
larger views to get the idea of nationality into some 
objective form — a strong central government that 
would attract men to it and make them forget their 
local prejudices. 

America now had before it the problem which the 
British ministry was trying to solve when it brought 
on the war — the problem of imperial organization. 
Could they form a great national system of govern- 
ment, without giving up all that they had con- 
tended for ? Could they reconcile local liberty with 
central authority and real unity ? That was a mo- 
mentous question for all mankind. 

In the first attempts of the American leaders to 
bring the thirteen states into a permanent union 
none could persuade them to make a strong national 
government. The states were to be coaxed, if pos- 
sible, into a league of friendship which would enable 
them to enjoy among the nations of the world the 
privileges and immunities of a nation. Accom- 
panying Lee's resolution for independence, June 
7, 1776, was a motion to appoint a committee to 
draw up articles of confederation among the several 
states. June 12, such a committee was appointed, 
having one delegate from each colony ; its most dis- 
tinguished members were Samuel Adams, Roger 
Sherman, John Dickinson, and Edward Rutledge.* 

A plan drawn by Dickinson was in the hands of 
the committee before the end of June, and shows 
^ Journals of Congress, June 12, 1776, 


clearly that the problems which caused Dickinson 
the greatest trouble were all due to the sensitiveness 
of the individual states. Something had been learn- 
ed, however, from Franklin's plan, proposed in the 
preceding year (July 21, 1775)/ In the funda- 
mental matter of representation, instead of Frank- 
lin's proportional representation, Dickinson yielded 
to the antipathy of the small states, and suggested 
a system in which each state had one vote. The 
power of the separate states was further safeguarded 
by providing that every state not represented should 
count as a vote in the negative,^ and to pass certain 
measures of first importance, the affirmative vote of 
nine states was required. 

Tenderly as this plan handled the local sensibil- 
ities, Rutledge declared upon sight that it could not 
pass. " If the Plan now proposed should be adopted, 
nothing less than Ruin to some Colonies will be the 
consequence of it. The Idea of destroying all Pro- 
vincial Distinctions and making everything of the 
most minute kind bend to what they call the good 
of the whole, is in other Terms to say that these 
Colonies must be subject to the government of the 
Eastern Provinces."^ "1 sun resolved," he con- 
tinued, "to vest the Congress with no more Power 
than is absolutely necessary, and, to use a familiar 

^ Am. Hist. Leaflets, No. 20. See also Diary of R. Smith, 
January i6, 1776. 

^ Franklin's plan provided for a simple majority of a quorum 
consisting of representatives of one-half the states, 

^ Jay, Corres^. and Public Papers, I., 67. 


expression, to keep the Staff in our own hands ; for I 
am confident, if surrendered into the Hands of others, 
a most pernicious use will be made of it." Yet this 
instrument, with the provisions which so shocked 
Rutledge, did not give Congress the right even to 
tax or to regulate commerce, the two most indis- 
pensable functions of an effective government. 
Nevertheless, it proposed the strongest confedera- 
tion that the world had ever known, and its daring 
astounded the men of the time. 

July 12, 1776, the committee brought in their 
draught, and Congress ordered that eighty copies — 
just enough for the members— should be printed.^ 
All were forbidden to furnish any person with a copy 
or reprint, and even the results of the debates upon 
the plan were to be entered only on the secret 
journals. The people of the colonies and the out- 
side world must not know of their dissensions and 
discords. For several weeks there wa.s an active 
debate in the committee of the whole, then, because 
Congress was ''pretty thin, and hurried with other 
business," the matter was dropped until the follow- 
ing spring. 

The "other business" was due to the misfortunes 
of the American army and the flight of Congress to 
Baltimore, where the deadly climate caused it to 
present ''such a scene of yellow, deathlike faces 
that you would imagine Rhadamanthus had shifted 
his quarters and was holding court in Baltimore." 
* Journals of Congress, July 12, 1776. 


But upon the return to Philadelphia their spirits 
rose, and in April of 1777* Congress bravely re- 
solved to give the plan of confederation two days 
in every week ''until it shall be wholly discussed." 
For three months they kept doggedly at work trying 
to find effective compromises, until late in June, 
when other business became so pressing that the ill- 
fated plan was again laid aside for three months. 

Not alone the fortunes of war, but the character 
and work of Congress itself explain these delays. 
The amount of work that the Continental Congress 
was called upon to do is almost incredible. John 
Adams wrote that he was incessantly at work from 
four o'clock in the morning until ten o'clock at 
night. ^ He said, with some pride: "No assembly 
ever had a greater number of great objects before 
them. Provinces, nations, empires are small things 
before us." ^ The dissolution of the old government 
had thrown America into a "political chaos," as Jay 
expressed it,* and much time, wisdom, and persever- 
ance were needed to reduce it into form. The men 
of the time realized the immense labor that their rev- 
olution was placing upon them, but they thought, 
as Jay nobly said, that " the spending of a few troub- 
lous years of our eternity in doing good to this and 
future generations is not to be avoided or regretted." 

^Journals of Congress, April 8, 1777. 
' Morse, John Adams, 144. 
' John Adams, Familiar Letters, 63. 
* Pellew, John Jay, 114. 


Not only were the labors of Congress enormous in 
amount, but they were of a most delicate nature. 
They were acting for thirteen independent bodies, 
who watched jealously every move lest their sover- 
eign prerogatives be intruded upon. The colonial 
legislatures had watched the British government in 
the same way, but they did not concede to Congress 
even the powers formerly enjoyed by the Crown. 
In the minds of Americans of this time the Crown 
rights had not devolved upon the Continental Con- 
gress. As late as 1782, Madison asserted that such 
a supposition '*was so extravagant that it could not 
enter into the thought of man."^ 

That Congress did not itself pretend to have in- 
herited the sovereignty and the rights of the Crown 
its various activities show. In the first place, it 
acted as the mouth - piece of the patriot party in 
all the colonies.^ It disposed of sundry applications, 
on behalf of individuals, not by assuming jurisdic- 
tion, but by recommending the local authorities 
to act. It considered requests for advice and aid 
to individual colonies, but it merely recommended 
action. It devised offensive and defensive meas- 
sures, which were then urged upon the individual 
colonies. It raised, organized, and regulated a 
continental army, assuming the general direction 
of military affairs, and it also created and ad- 

' N. Y. Hist. Soc, Collections, 1878, p. 147. 
' Small, Beginnings of American Nationality {Johns Hopkins 
ifJniversity Sind^es, VIII.) > 56; Journals oj Congress, passim. 


ministered a continental revenue, but it had to turn 
to the states to support the army and to redeem 
its financial pledges/ 

Congress also served as an organ of communi- 
cation between the collective colonies and foreign 
communities or individuals. It devised peaceful 
plans and measures for the general good, superin- 
tending Indian affairs, and making a postal system 
designed to '' convey intelligence from one end of the 
continent to the other/' In all that it did the mem- 
bers never seemed to entertain a doubt about their 
actual subordination to the colonial assemblies 
which they represented. Up to the time of the 
adoption of the Articles of Confederation, Congress 
was merely the central office of a continental 
political signal system.^ Its bulletins were made 
laws by the state assemblies, not because these 
recommendations were looked upon as having legal 
force, but because they were accepted as the most 
trustworthy readings of the signs of the times. 

In carrying on the war, which was the chief busi- 
ness committed to its care. Congress not only de- 
liberated but executed such measures as could not 
be turned over to the government of an individual 
state. Out of its own body came the men who as 
members of the committee of foreign affairs, or the 
board of war or treasury, had to look after the 
vexatious and tedious details which are ordinarily 

' Journals of Congress, December 26,1775. 

^ Small, Beginnings of American Nationality, 74, 


cared for by a state, war, or treasury department. 
John Adams was a member of ninety committees 
which have been recorded and of many others of 
which no record was kept. "The whole Congress 
is taken up, almost," wrote Adams,^ "in different 
committees, from seven to ten in the morning. From 
ten to four or sometimes five we are in Congress, 
and from six to ten in committees again. I don't 
mention this to make you think me a man of im- 
portance, because it is not I alone, but the whole 
Congress is thus employed. ..." 

Not only were the regular routine duties of execu- 
tive departments to be performed, but all the work 
of their organization, and the remaking of such of 
them as failed. Everything, from the plan of a 
hospital to the plan of a seal, had to be made in 
committee.^ John Adams as the head of the war 
board found his labor simply appalling. There was 
not only the immensity of the task, but, as we have 
seen, the delicacy required in wielding the dubious 
powers of Congress, which were so undefined and 
vague that none knew their bounds. 

Out of a number of members that varied from 
two dozen to five score there were appointed com- 
mittees for a hundred varying purposes: one to 
make rules and regulations for the army; one to 
collect lead and make salt; one to establish a post 
for conveying letters; one to print bills of credit, 

^ John Adams, Familiar Letters, 127 

^ Journals of Congress, index, under Committees. 


and another to circulate them. Committees were 
created on the spur of the moment to intercept the 
vessels of the enemy and to provide a defence for 
certain threatened points. If ever a war was 
carried on by a debating society that war was the 
American Revolution. 

In the very centre of all this complicated com- 
mittee system, and charged with the duty of re- 
ferring to the various committees all the business 
that properly concerned them, was the president of 
Congress, himself the most overworked of men. 
Besides his duties as a presiding officer, with little 
power and much work, he carried on in a somewhat 
clerical capacity a vast correspondence with the 
commander-in-chief, the governors of states, and 
local committees, upon subjects ranging from the 
plan of a campaign to the repairs on a local jail in 
which a state prisoner was confined. Yet even his 
task dwindles in comparison with the enormous 
labors of Charles Thomson, the secretary of Con- 
gress from its origin to its end. The vast volume 
of his work in registering the deeds of Congress, 
and his faithful care, have never been adequately 

The judicial functions of Congress, which further 
added to its burdens, originated in the need of a 
court of appeal after the privateering system was 
established.^ To keep American privateers from 

^ Harley, Life of Charles Thomson. 
^Journals of Congress, November 25, 1775. 


lawless and indiscriminate plunder, Congress rec- 
ommended, in November, 1775, that the several 
colonies erect courts wherein all cases of capture 
might be tried by jury/ With rather daring 
assumption it was provided that in all cases an 
appeal might be made to Congress. All of the 
states acted on this suggestion in due time except 
New York, but Massachusetts, in April, 1776, re- 
buked the boldness of Congress by allowing an 
appeal to that body only in cases of capture by 
armed vessels fitted out at the charge of the United 
Colonies. The rest of the states seemed to concede 
this appeal, though in an actual case the North 
Carolina legislature barely allowed it, and in the 
famous Olmstead case (1778) the Pennsylvania court 
and marshal set at naught the decision of the Conti- 
nental commissioners, and the latter, not wishing to 
endanger "the public peace of the United States," 
proceeded no further in the matter.^ 

As the Revolution dragged on, the states all grew 
more jealous of the Congress, and efforts were made 
to prevent any appeal from the state courts. Cases 
continued to come up, however, and Congress at 
first appointed special committees to consider each 
case, until in January, 1777, a standing committee 
of five was appointed to hear all appeals in prize 
cases.' For three years this committee carried on 
the work. No regular court was provided, because 

' J. Franklin Jameson, Essays in Const. Hist., 7-32. 

^ Ibid.., 17-22. ^Journals of Congress, January 30, 1777. 


Congress was doubtful of its own powers, and the 
present arrangement had a good precedent in the 
English system of appeal from the admiraltj^ courts 
to a tribunal of commissioners from the House of 
Lords. The great fault was that the membership 
of the court was in a state of constant change, the 
same judges seldom acting for more than a few 
months. Great pressure having been brought to 
bear on Congress, it, at last, in January of 1780, 
established a permanent court of appeals, which 
may be regarded as the predecessor of the present 
Supreme Court of the United States.^ Dickinson's 
plan of the Articles of Confederation had provided 
for such a court, but the long delay in getting the 
plan adopted by Congress and approved by the 
states caused Congress to worry along with the 
cumbrous committee system during most of the 

If all this w^ork could have been done in a well- 
fitted office - building, where interdependent com- 
mittees might have had contiguous rooms, the snail 
pace of public business would still have been ag- 
gravating because of the delays inherent in the com- 
mittee system; but there was only the little state- 
house in Philadelphia, which was merely suited to 
their deliberative work in congress assembled. 
The key to half the inefficiency of the Continental 
Congress is in a letter written by its president to 
General Washington. ''It is a rule of Congress to 

^ journals of Congress, January 15, 1780. 


commit letters to the consideration of particular 
boards, and these being dispersed in different parts 
of the town and governed by rules of their own for 
meeting, it is not always in the power of the presi- 
dent to answer with that despatch which may seem 
necessary." ^ A more cumbrous method could 
hardly have been devised ; and it must have lamed 
the service, even if there were no truth in Washing- 
ton's complaint, that ''idleness and dissipation take 
the place of close attention and application." 

Still another reason for the inefficiency of Con- 
gress as a body was the fact that the ablest of the 
members, torn by their double allegiance, or sent 
abroad on foreign missions, were withdrawn just 
as they gained some training and fitness for their 
congressional work. Strong and ambitious men 
were more attracted by office in the state govern- 
ments than by service in the Continental Congress.^ 
So brief and fitful was the term of service that be- 
fore the debate on the plan of confederation had 
well begun every one of the thirteen members of 
xhe draughting committee, except Samuel Adams, 
had left Congress; and when it was adopted even 
Adams was absent. Still, the weakness of the ar- 
ticles cannot be attributed to the absence of strong 
men, for the plan was debated by John and Samuel 
Adams, Carroll, Wilson, and Morris, though Franklin, 

^Continental Congress Papers (MSS.), No. 13, I,, 18. Dated 
York, November 13, 1777. 

2 Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VII., 383. 


Chase, Gadsden, and Randolph had little to do 
with it. 

The few able men who remained in Congress until 
the plan of confederation was at last agreed upon 
might have built more lasting foundations for na- 
tional government had there been less sectional 
jealousy and dissension. "It is almost impossible 
to move anything," John Adams complained,^ "but 
you instantly see private friendships and enmities 
and provincial views and prejudices intermingle in 
the consultation." Everybody was jealous of New 
England, and believed, as Benjamin Harrison sourly 
remarked, that "the Yankees" ruled as absolutely 
in Congress " as the Grand Turk in his dominions." * 
"The Force of their Arms," Rutledge jealously 
wrote, "I hold exceeding Cheap, but I confess I 
dread their overruling Influence in Council. I 
dread their low Cunning and those . . . Principles 
which Men without Character and without Fortune 
in general possess, which are so captivating to the 
lower order of Mankind." * 

These slurs at New England and her democracy 
were not left without retort from that part of Amer- 
ica. When the aristocratic south was drawn into 
the revolutionary whirlpool and compelled to accept 
the rife democratic principles John Adams laughed 
in his sleeve. "The dons, the bashaws, the gran- 

> John Adams, Works, II., 448; Washington, Writings (Sparks's 
ed.), III., 68. 2 Oberholtzer, Robert Morris, 37. 

* Jay, Corresp. and Public Papers, I , 67. 


dees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call 
them by what name you please, sigh, groan, fret, and 
sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in 
vain." Thus the sections bandied ill-natured com- 
ments, and watched one another narrowly lest some 
advantage be lost. 

Not only were there sectional jealousies, but the 
small states feared the power of the large ; the land- 
less states envied the states whose charters drew 
their bounds only at the South Sea, while Connecti- 
cut and Pennsylvania grew hot enough for war over 
the ownership of the Wyoming Valley. New York 
and New Hampshire, too, were at sword' s-points 
over the Green Mountain territory, and, in the 
spring of 1777, Vermont set the New England and 
New York factions by the ears by asking to be ad- 
mitted as an independent state. Added to this were 
the bitter theological differences between the eastern 
and middle states. 

Even the varying nationality of the people of the 
several sections tended to destroy any unity of feel- 
ing. The middle colonies had the most mixed pop- 
ulation,^ and these non-English people having less 
interest in political principles, and being more fond 
of ease and homely comfort, were the slowest to take 
part in the revolution. Their representatives were 
bound to voice their loyalism, and created another 
faction in the Continental Congress. Lafayette de- 
clared that there were parties in Congress who hated 

* Willard, N aturalization in the American Colonies, 38. 


one another as much as they hated the common 
enemy. It is little wonder that even Washington 
lost his patience, and wrote in wrath, "Congress is 
rent by Party . . . much business of a trifling nature 
and personal concernment withdraw their attention 
from matters of great national moment." * 

The evil influence of personal ambitions of which 
Washington complained was, of course, not peculiar 
to the Continental Congress ; but it was there along 
with much manly self-sacrifice and devotion to the 
best interests of the country. Cynics became dis- 
gusted with the schemes of men to get for them- 
selves or their friends the few plums borne by the 
ill-nourished congressional plum-tree. ''There is 
as much intrigue in this State -House as in the Vat- 
ican," wrote Jay, "but as little secrecy as in a board- 
ing-school." ^ 

The want of secrecy is not so apparent, for Con- 
gress had early ordered that without leave no mem- 
ber should divulge anything under debate ; ^ and as 
there was no newspaper or official report of debates, 
we are often in the dark where we most wish light. 
The letters and diaries of various members, how- 
ever, give us occasional glimpses of the inspiring 
as well as disgraceful scenes within the state-house 
walls. Very rarely is there any view to be had of 
the members of the august body. John Adams, 

^Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VII., 383. 

' Quoted in Hapgood, Washington, 227. 

^Secret Journals of Congress, November 9, 1775. 


however, left to the world some vivid pictures, so 
true to certain exaggerated features as to be almost 
caricatures. He thought Francis Hopkinson, the 
member from New Jersey, ''one of your pretty, 
little, curious, ingenious men." * This was the prac- 
tical New England lawyer's view of the man whose 
culture seemed to him effeminate — the man who 
wrote dainty songs, did clever things with pencil and 
brush, composed music, and loved pure literature, 
who more than dabbled in physics, chemistry, mathe- 
matics, and mechanics, and who, finally, was a 
lawyer and a statesman of no mean ability. Hop- 
kinson' s figure in Congress moved Adams to mirth. 
*' His head is not bigger than a large apple." " I have 
not met with anything in natural history more amus- 
ing and entertaining than his personal appearance." ^ 
In Adams's truthful but ruthless diary he drew 
other sketches. Chase is described as violent, 
boisterous, tedious upon frivolous points. Edward 
Rutledge — ''a perfect Bob-o-Lincoln " — is an un- 
couth and ungraceful speaker, who has an offensive 
habit of shrugging his shoulders, distorting his 
body, wriggling his head, rolling his eyes, and 
speaking through his nose. The other Rutledge 
"dodges his head" disagreeably, while both "spout 
out their language in a rough and rapid torrent, 
but without much force or effect."^ Roger Sher- 

' Tyler, Literary Hist, of American Revolution, I., 164. 
^ John Adams, Familiar Letters, 217. 
' Adams, Works, II., 422. 


man's air is the reverse of grace, when he keeps 
his hands still, but when he gesticulates ** it is 
stiffness and awkwardness itself, rigid as starched 
linen or buckram, awkward as a junior bachelor 
or sophomore." Dickinson's **air, gait, and action 
are not much more elegant." * Franklin, *' composed 
and grave, and very reserved," alone escapes this 
Yankee Hogarth. This was the Continental Con- 
gress as it would have appeared to any one looking 
on for the first time, but it was only a surface view, 
and these men of grotesque figure were members 
of a body of greater average ability than are par- 
liamentary bodies generally. The true explanation 
of most of its failures lies in the inharmonious re- 
lations of the states which were represented, and 
the fact that it was ill-organized and overworked. 

When, in the fall of 1777, ^^^ Articles of Con- 
federation were again taken up for discussion, the 
members of Congress were in exile. For two weeks 
they had been in terror, fleeing from Philadelphia to 
Lancaster, and thence to York. There was plenty 
else for them to do, but they were getting desperate 
about the confederation, fearing that if it were not 
made while the war lasted it would not be made at 
all.* Already there had been a change in public 
opinion, and the representatives of the states seemed 
unwilling to grant to the Congress of the new con- 
federation powers to which they had not objected in 
the earlier debates. 

* Adams, Works, II., 423. ' Boutell, Roger Sherman, 105. 


During all of their discussions, the really great 
questions that confronted them seemed hardly 
to have occurred to the Congress. The problem 
which America had inherited from Great Britain — 
how much power should reside at the centre and 
how much in the local governments, the very ques- 
tion which had split the empire — seems not to have 
troubled them. There seemed to them but one 
answer to that: they assumed that the British im- 
perial plan was wrong; of course each state would 
tax itself, and when the central government wanted 
money it could ask for it. Naturally, they would 
regulate their own trade, except that they should 
not make regulations that would interfere with 
treaties made by the general Congress.^ In a word, 
they now put into practice their own theory of 
what should have been the relations between Great 
Britain and her colonies. To this they added the 
last fatal weakness, providing that the central 
government should act upon the states and not 
upon individuals, thus preventing the enforcement 
of the general decrees by the only feasible method. 

In the new scheme of imperial organization there 
was but one element of strength. The citizens of 
each state were to be entitled to all the privileges 
and immunities of the several states.^ Here was 
the one effective provision for harmonious relations 
between the states. These fundamental matters, 
however, were soon agreed upon, while over the 

* Articles of Confederation, art. VI. * Ibid., art. IV. 


question of the relative influence that each state 
should have in the new confederation they spent 
months of debating and wrangling. 

**If a Confederation should take place," John 
Adams wrote/ ''one great question is, how we shall 
vote — whether each Colony shall count one, or 
whether each shall have a weight in proportion to 
its number, or wealth, or exports and imports, or 
a compound ratio of all." That question greatly 
alarmed the leaders. The great and the small 
colonies seemed bitterly determined not to yield to 
each other. Witherspoon, representing the small- 
state interests, thought that if each state did not 
have an equal weight "the smaller states would 
become vassals to the others. . . . Foreign powers 
. . . would make this a handle," he argued,^ "for 
disengaging the smaller states from so unequal 
a confederacy." Wilson, of Pennsylvania, arguing 
for the large states, took an advanced stand, ob- 
jecting to the view that Congress represented states, 
not individuals. "The objects of its care," he 
asserted, "are the individuals of the states." 
"It is strange," he added, sarcastically, "that 
annexing the name 'state' to ten thousand men 
should give them an equal right with forty thou- 
sand" ; that was magic, not reason. Franklin doubt- 
ed whether, even if the larger states were given 

* Force, Am. Archives, 5th series, I., 637. 
2 Jefferson, Report of Debates, in Papers (Randolph's ed.), I., 


proportional representation, there was danger that 
the whale would swallow Jonah, bmt rather, as 
certain precedents showed, that Jonah would swal- 
low the whale.^ ''Certainly," he said, ''if we vote 
equally we ought to pay equally, but the smaller 
states will hardly purchase the privilege at this 
price." Indeed, they would not, and after defeat- 
ing every other scheme that was offered they suc- 
ceeded, October 7, in putting into the articles their 
own idea of voting by states.^ 

A week later it was agreed that each state should 
contribute to the funds for the common defence 
according to the value of the land within the state. 
This was carried by a single vote, New England 
voting solidly against it. One other vital question 
of sovereignty was temporarily settled on the fol- 
lowing day. It was proposed that the Congress 
of the new confederation should have the right to 
ascertain the western boundaries of states claim- 
ing to the Mississippi River or the South Sea, as 
their charters expressed it. Separate states were 
then to be laid out in these western lands. This 
statesman-like scheme was promptly frowned down 
by a large negative vote, but it would not down 
entirely, and proved the great issue that long pre- 
vented the adoption of the Articles of Confedera- 

^ JeSerson, Report of Debates, m Papers (Randolph's ed)., I., 
28, 26. 

^Journal of Congress (MS.), October 7, 1777, XLVII., 79, 


After another month of discussion the articles 
were completed and submitted to the states, No- 
vember 17, 1777, at the moment when they were 
elated over Burgoyne's surrender. The letter of 
submission spoke of the difficulties of "combining 
in one general system the various sentiments and 
interests of a continent divided into so many 
sovereign and independent communities, under 
the conviction of the absolute necessity of uniting 
all our councils and all our strength to maintain 
and defend our common liberties." * One of the 
rewards that they had hoped to win by the act of 
confederation was an alliance with France, and 
they therefore provided for a translation of the 
articles into French. Copies were also ordered 
distributed in Canada, while an address was sent 
to the Canadian people inviting them to enter 
the new confederation. For the moment every- 
thing assumed a golden hue. Men could not know 
that it would be over three years before every state 
should have approved of the new *' league of friend- 
ship," and that for nearly four years the cloud of 
war was still to hang over them. There was good 
news in store for them, too, for with the spring came 
the long-desired treaty with France. 

^Secret Journals of Congress, November 17, 1777. 



THE arrival in France of the news of the sur- 
render of Burgoyne proved to be the decisive 
event in bringing about a treaty of alliance. So 
momentous was that treaty, and so effective the aid 
of France in establishing American independence, 
that every step towards it is of the greatest interest. 
The fundamental causes of French interference in 
the American war lie centuries back of the Revolu- 
tion; the more immediate causes began with the 
treaty of Paris in 1763. That humiliating peace 
with England, a French minister reminded the 
king, " was bought at the price of our possessions, of 
our commerce, and of our credit in the Indies ; at the 
price of Canada, Louisiana, Isle Royale, Acadia, 
and Senegal." ^ It left France with neither power 
nor resource; "she had lost credit with her allies, 
and she had no consideration from other powers." 

When the Due de Choiseul signed the treaty he 
is said to have consoled himself in that moment 
of humiliation with the thought that it would soon 

* Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 2. 


be broken. From that hour he watched for a weak 
spot in England's armor. At the time of the 
Stamp Act he foresaw revolution in America, and 
he devised a plan to be followed by France at the 
moment when the colonies should declare inde- 
pendence. He sent the Baron de Kalb to America 
in 1768 that the progress of rebellion might be 
watched and aided.* Then he fell from power, and 
his plans were for the moment forgott^i. 

When Louis XVI. came to the throne, in 1774, 
he chose as minister of foreign affairs Charles 
Gravier, Comte de Vergennes, one who was ready 
to carry to the end Choiseul's plans for revenge. 
To Vergennes England was France's enemy in 
peace as well as in war, though not an enemy to be 
attacked unwarily. If Spain could also be induced 
to attack, because of her own danger from British 
aggression, the two states, striking while England 
was weakened by the rebellion in her colonies, might 
hope to reduce her power and regain their own 
prestige. A quarrel between Spain and Portugal, 
in which England interfered in the latter's behalf, 
was most opportune in causing Spain to look with 
favor upon a proposal by Vergennes to aid the 
rebellious American colonies. 

It remained for Vergennes to win the other French 

ministers and the Bourbon king, who was no friend 

to "insurgents." In a secret paper, long and im- 

passioned, Vergennes urged the king that England 

^ Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 637-638, 


was the natural enemy of France. "She is an 
enemy at once grasping, ambitious, unjust, and 
perfidious. The invariable and most cherished pur- 
pose in her politics has been, if not the destruction 
of France, at least her overthrow, her humiliation, 
and her ruin " — an hostility which obliged France, 
declared Vergennes, "to seize eveiy possible oppor- 
tunity to reduce the power and the greatness of 
England . . . it is a duty for us to do so . . . now is 
France's opportunity.* . . . The Americans are at 
open war with their central government. . . . They 
appeal to us to give them aid and succor." As a 
sop to the king's conscience, Vergennes suggested 
that "if the English are foolish enough to destroy 
their power by their own force, to exhaust their 
finances and to engulf themselves in a civil war, 
why should we interrupt them? Let us quietly 
watch them consume themselves. . . . Our rela- 
tive power is bound to be increased." 

These extracts reveal the motives that most 
influenced the French minister; but upon the high- 
minded king he urged most, not revenge but the 
glory of France and her future peril from her re- 
morseless enemy. Vergennes, indeed, found it con- 
venient to use the king's honor as a foil when charged 
by the British government with showing favor to the 
Americans. "Even if his majesty's interest lay 
in feeding the flame of rebellion in America," wrote 
the wily minister, " his feeling of justice would 

* Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 243-249. 


forbid him to do so; and justice is the strongest 
impulse of his soul." * 

In winning the approval of the king, Vergennes 
was ably seconded by Caron de Beaumarchais, 
author of Le Manage de Figaro, and one of the most 
remarkable characters of the time. He was fired 
with the zeal of a fanatic to avenge the shame that 
England had brought to France in the treaty of 
Paris. He was in deadly fear that Louis would 
decide against aid to America. He begged the 
king in mercy not to make a decision without 
allowing him a single quarter of an hour to plead 
the cause in the royal presence. He wished to 
demonstrate the certainty of success and the im- 
mense harvest of glory to be obtained from so 
small a seed planted at the right time.' The 
gay composer of operas became fairly devout 
in his zeal. **May the guardian angel of this 
state turn favorably the heart of the king," he 

Not trusting all to the angel, however, Beau- 
marchais submitted to the king (February 29, 
1776) a most insidious paper, entitled "Peace or 
War?" in which he disclosed a suggestion which he 
said came from a secret agent of the colonies. This 
agent, Arthur Lee, had said, "We offer France, 
as the price of her secret aid, a secret commercial 
treaty by which we shall turn over to her for a 

* Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 149. 
Ubid., I.. 251. 


certain number of years after the declaration of 
peace all the advantages by which we have en- 
riched England for a century past." America was 
also to guarantee France's possessions in the western 
hemisphere so far as that was possible. This was 
not all. Lee had threatened, according to Beau- 
marchais, that if this offer were refused America 
would at once make the same proposition to all the 
nations of Europe. Then, to retaliate upon France, 
she would send her first prizes into French ports 
and force France either to admit or forbid them. 
Forbid, and America would accept peace and join 
with England in an attack on the French islands; 
admit them, and a rupture with England would 
follow. Such was the striking and terrible situa- 
tion, said Beaumarchais. To escape the dilemma, he 
suggested a plan to give America secret aid while 
still avoiding a rupture with England.* 

Beaumarchais was just the man to aid Vergennes 
in working upon the king's fears and weaknesses, 
to drag him into an alliance with America. He 
delighted the king with his ingenious watch-making, 
his musical talents, and his skill as a dramatist. An 
indirect influence came through his popularity with 
the court, where his bold address and chivalrous 
bearing made him a favorite. His business talents 
had placed in his hands money enough to buy an 
office that gave him a standing with the nobility. 
The literary world and the philosophers were won to 

' Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 402. 

VOL. IX, — 15 


him, not alone by his genius in literature, but by 
his enterprise in the publication of Voltaire's works/ 

None but the skilful pamphleteer, the unblushing 
adventurer, and the master of intrigue would have 
dared such a document as he put in Louis' hands, 
filled with sophistry if not with barefaced lies. His 
reported conversation with Arthur Lee shows either 
the one or the other to have been guilty of the most 
monstrous deception as to the purposes of the Con- 
tinental Congress. Lee was an intriguer, too, of no 
mean powers in that dubious art, but, wherever 
the lie originated, it was not a threat authorized 
by Congress. One important thing only is certain: 
before the close of 1775 ^^^ French court was in 
active intercourse with the agents of America, and 
Vergennes used the knowledge thus gained to bring 
the king to his plan. 

In another secret paper, submitted not to the 
king alone but to his cabinet, Vergennes dwelt with 
more emphasis upon the prophecy that France and 
Spain were threatened whatever the outcome of the 
American war.^ If England won she would turn 
upon the French possessions in the West Indies for 
the purpose of diverting the minds of the Americans, 
and if she lost she would seek to seize them in re- 
venge for the sympathy that France had shown for 
America. Spain's American possessions were like- 
wise threatened ; and, since they must fight eventual- 

* Lomenie, Beaumarchais, passim, 

^ Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 273-278. 


ly, why not do so at the most effective time? If 
open aid to the Americans was not advisable, secret 
favors would keep np their courage and hopes ; and, 
even if they yielded at last, their sufferings would 
embitter them towards England, and it would ex- 
haust her strength for a long time to keep them in 
submission. Here was the time marked out by 
Providence to "deliver the universe from a greedy 
tyrant that was absorbing all power and all wealth.'* 
France and Spain must ''follow the impulse of their 
interests . . . the justice of their cause." They must 
avenge upon England the evils which for a century 
she had inflicted upon her neighbors and rivals. 
At the proper moment, when she was exhausted 
with war, a decisive blow might reduce her to a 
secondary power. 

Improbable and illogical as was the argument 
showing that war was inevitable, it doubtless had 
great weight with the king and some members of 
his cabinet. Turgot, the great minister of finance, 
opposed Vergennes' counsel,^ for French finances 
were so deranged that nothing but economy long 
persisted in could prevent a catastrophe, and he 
felt that the loss of America would not hurt Eng- 
land. ''Wise and happy will be that nation which 
shall first . . . consent to see its colonies allies and 
not subjects." Vergennes' policy prevailed, how- 
ever, and from that time he was to all intents and 
purposes at war with England, and was using every 
» Memoir, in Turgot, Works, VIII. (ed. of 1809), 


secret means to aid America. Beaumarchais was 
his agent. He interested every one, and intrigued 
with every one who could furnish arms and muni- 
tions of war to America. He seized upon every 
favorable report and carried it to the king. With- 
out the money and supplies which he thus secured 
for America the war must have languished, perhaps 

Early in May, 1776, Vergennes secured the king's 
consent to a loan to America of one million livres, and 
at the same time he tried to get a like loan from Spain, 
to whose chief minister, the Marques de Grimaldi, 
he had already commimicated his reasons why 
France and Spain should join in aiding America. 
He succeeded in getting the loan,^ though Spain as- 
sumed an attitude of hostility to England, not so 
much for revenge as because the American war 
would give her an opportunity to attack and annex 
Portugal while England was too weak to oppose.^ 
This difference in motive became of great impor- 
tance a few months later. 

Up to this time France had aided America through 
connivance only. A French house, with which 
Franklin had opened negotiations, was permitted 
to buy in France arms and ammunition, which were 
shipped to America. Now the aid, though still se- 
cret, became more direct and of great importance. 
Thus far Vergennes had carried France with very 

^ Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 485. 
' Tpv^'^^r, l-afayette^ I., 140. 


little instigation from America. Now in July, 1776, 
for the first time a representative of Congress began 
making efforts to enlist the aid of the French gov- 

The Continental Congress had appointed a "Se- 
cret Committee on Foreign Correspondence" in the 
fall of 1775/ but a motion that ambassadors be 
sent to France at that time met with no favor. 
John Adams argued ably for it, and wrote years 
afterwards: "You know the state of the nerves of 
Congress at that time. . . . Whether the effect of the 
motion resembled the shock of electricity ... or of 
galvanism ... I leave you philosophers to deter- 
mine; but the grimaces, the agitations, and con- 
vulsions were very great." ^ The question of send- 
ing abroad ambassadors to seek alliances was 
earnestly debated. Franklin thought that " a virgin 
state should preserve the virgin character, and not 
go abroad suitoring for alliances." ^ Patrick Henry 
was eager for alliances, fearing lest England should 
get French aid herself by making large cessions of 
territory in America."* Adams strongly favored 
sending ministers, but desired only treaties of 
amity and commerce.^ "We should separate our- 
selves as far as possible and as long as possible 

^ Secret Journals of Congress, November 29, 1775. 

'Adams, Works, I., 200. 

' Foster, Century of American Diplomacy , 9. 

* Adams, Works, IV., 201. 

* Secret Journals of Congress, II., 7; Adams, Works, IX., 409, 
I., 200. 


from all European politics and wars," he wisely 

Meanwhile the committee of foreign correspond- 
ence was led on by a secret agent of Vergennes, 
named Bonvouloir, who, September, 1775, was sent 
to America, instructed merely to watch and report 
the state of affairs there, but not to mention the 
word Frenchman or the disposition of the French 
court. Bonvoiiloir was very mysterious in all his 
dealings with the committee of foreign correspond- 
ence, but he subtly let them understand that France 
would not frown upon their advances. Though he 
denied all responsibility to the French government, 
the committee divined his real character, and they 
decided to send an agent to France, selecting for 
the mission Silas Deane, a member of Congress 
from Connecticut. March 3, 1776, he received his 
commission and instructions.^ 

Though Deane, assuming the not uncommon 
name of ''Jones," departed secretly and wrote his re- 
ports with invisible ink, yet he had hardly arrived in 
France when spies discovered him, and the British 
ambassador demanded his expulsion from France. 
France refused, and continued to supply America 
from the royal arsenals with ever^^thing excepting 
brass cannon, "bearing the king's arms and cipher." 
Deane, as he was instructed by Vergennes in a se- 
cret interview, at once came into close relations with 
Beaumarchais, and the two contrived a more rapid 
* Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of the Am. Rev., I., 334, II., 78. 


system of relief. By October, Deane was able to 
send clothing for twenty thousand men, muskets 
for thirty thousand, gunpowder, cannon, shot, and 
shell in large quantities/ French aid to America 
was, perhaps, never more effective than during 
the two years when she was ostensibly at peace 
with England. All the necessities of war, even 
to the gold to pay the soldiers, were sent to Amer- 
ica through the agency of a new mercantile house 
with the fictitious name of " Hortalez et Cie." This 
house, on one of the main streets of Paris, was noth- 
ing more nor less than Beaumarchais' creation for 
the sole purpose of aiding America. 

Meanwhile nearly every move of Deane and his 
American agents was known to the English ministry. 
The British ambassador. Lord Stormont, with un- 
remitting ardor kept up a watch upon the French 
court that made him the most hated and most fear- 
ed man in France. His spies were ever3rwhere, sit- 
ting at the council board with the American agents 
and dining with them in their most confidential 
hours. ^ When, however, in August, 1776, England 
again complained of the presence of Deane in Paris, 
Vergennes replied that the king was master in his 
own house, and he would account to nobody for 
persons whom he saw fit to admit there. ^ 

Plainly the French minister was gaining confi- 

^ Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of the Am. Rev., II., 148. 

' Stevens, Facsimiles, index under Bancroft and Stormon'^. 

' Poniol, Participation de la France, I., 583. 


dence, when he could talk thus boldly to the govern- 
ment which he feared as much as he hated. In fact, 
he was coming to the point of openly taking part in 
the war. When he heard that the Americans had 
declared their independence (August 13, 1776) he 
remarked that this "did not look very much as if 
terror were about to take possession of their souls." 
He at once formally proposed in the cabinet that 
France and Spain should begin open war. The 
French cabinet approved, and Grimaldi, the premier 
of Spain, who had been prepared for this move by 
months of sinuous and intricate correspondence, 
replied (October 8, 1776) to the proposition that 
Spain approved, wishing only that the annexation 
of Portugal might be considered her chief object;* 
and Vergennes would not have opposed this, but 
before he could reply there came the chilling tidings 
of the American defeat on Long Island. Vergennes 
was in despair, and, suggesting to the king that there 
was "no hurry," he notified Spain that they must 
wait — "the time for giving the Americans aid de~ 
pends upon their success." ^ 

France now simply fell back to her former policy 
of indulgence and secret encouragement of the 
Americans; but in Spain there was a revulsion of 
feeling, which overthrew Grimaldi, putting in his 
place the Conde de Floridablanca, who at once as- 
sumed towards France a more independent position. 

* Doniol, Participation de la France, I., 61 j, 
^Ibid., I., 618, 620. 


Spain did not cease to be more than kindly towards 
America, but, wishing to avoid any pretext of war 
with England, she would not treat directly with the 
representatives whom Congress had already sent to 
solicit her aid. Vergennes, too, moderated towards 
England, and the French king made a great show of 
hindering the departure of Lafayette, who in March, 
1777, set sail for America/ 

The Marquis of Lafayette was the most conspicu- 
ous of all the French soldiers who up to this time 
had gone to America. A majority of those who 
had preceded him might well have been spared. 
Many were mere soldiers of fortune, hating England, 
seeking adventtire, or hoping for better pay and rank. 
"The greater number," wrote a French traveller, 
"were men crippled with debts and without repu- 
tation at home, who, announcing themselves by as- 
sumed titles and false names, . . . received consider- 
able advances and disappeared at once." ^ 

Deane was "wellnigh harassed to death" by 
them.^ He could fill ten ships with them, he wrote. 
The American commissioners, later, were " hourly 
fatigued with their applications," which they were 
obliged to refuse^ "I wish," wrote one of them, 
"we had an absolute order to give no letter of rec- 
ommendation or even introduction for the future 

* Doniol, Participation de la France, I., chap, xix., II., chap, 

^ Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., I,, 397. 
Ubid., II., 198. 

* Ibid., II., 286; Parton, Franklin, II., 233. 


to any foreign officer whatever. " ' ' The importunity 
is boundless. The numbers we refuse incredible." ^ 

The majority of these volunteers were French, 
but several of the more distinguished came from 
other lands. There were Kosciuszko, the Polish 
hero, and Pulaski, another of her patriots ; Baron de 
Kalb, a soldier under Marshal Saxe, and, of late, 
Choiseul's secret agent in America; and, lastly, the 
Baron von Steuben, the great Frederick's veteran, 
who proved invaluable in disciplining and organiz- 
ing Washington's raw troops.^ Destined in the 
minds of the American people to head this roll of 
illustrious foreigners was Lafayette, who, with 
youthful enthusiasm, left wife and fortune and great 
social position to serve freely the cause of liberty. 
No other foreign soldier entered so completely into 
the spirit of the Americans and viewed with such 
sympathy all their shortcomings. Lafayette's ser- 
vice in America proved as effective in winning Ameri- 
can hearts to France as did Franklin's mission in 
securing for America the friendship of that nation. 

Some months before Lafayette's departure for 
America, the delay of France in declaiing openly for 
the patriot cause had determined Congress to re- 
place their agent, Deane, by commissioners with 
authority, as representatives of independent Ameri- 
ca, to seek recognition and negotiate a treaty of 

* Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., II., 411. 
^ Ibid., I., 397-419; Hatch, Administration of Am. Army, 
chap, iv, 


commerce. Late in September, 1776, Franklin, Jef- 
ferson, and Deane were chosen, and Jefferson de- 
clining, Arthur Lee, then in London, was substituted.* 
Braving the terrors of a wintry sea, Franklin left Amer- 
ica late in October, and December 18 arrived in Paris. 

When the Marquis of Rockingham heard that 
Franklin had gone to France the significance of it 
appalled him. ''The horrid scene at a Privy Cotm- 
cil [when Franklin was exposed to the withering in- 
vective of Wedderbum and the councillors clapped 
their hands in delight] is in my memory, though, 
perhaps, not in his. It may not excite his conduct. 
It certainly deters him not. . . . He boldly ventures to 
cross the Atlantic in an American little frigate, and 
risks the dangers of being taken. . . . The sight of 
Banquo's ghost could not more offend the eyes of 
Macbeth than the knowledge of this old man being 
at Versailles should affect the minds of those who 
were principals in that horrid scene." ^ 

Stormont, however, tried to comfort his govern- 
ment, suggesting what he had taken care to have 
reported about Paris, that Franklin came in the 
double capacity of negotiator and fugitive; "this 
suspicion," he added, "joined to the knowledge of 
his former character and to that reputation of du- 
plicity which he has so justly acquired, will, I hope, 
throw many difficulties in his way." ^ Yet, he con- 

^ Secret Journals of Congress, II., 6, 31, 35. 
2 Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, II., 302. 
^ Tower, Lafayette, I., 164. 


ceded, there was a danger because of ** the partiality 
of the French people." 

To the French court the British ambassador pro- 
tested against allowing the "chief of the American 
rebels" to enter Paris, but Vergennes pleaded igno- 
rance of the motive of the coming " of this member 
of Congress." Indeed, so anxious was the French 
king to keep secret the real relations of France and 
America that, to use the somewhat exaggerated 
words of John Adams, "the grand Franklin himself 
was obliged to skulk about in obscurity in Paris, 
never admitted to the presence of the king, queen, 
or any branch of the royal family, nor to any of the 
ministers of state unless privately and in secret." 
It was in this way that Franklin had his first meet- 
ing with Vergennes, and he came away convinced 
that the unfavorable aspect of events in America 
made the court view a war with England reluctantly.* 
The French people, however, were favorable, he 
thought, and he set about winning them wholly to 
his cause. 

His very appearance in France was greeted with 
the greatest enthusiasm. Adams declared that his 
reputation was more universal than that of Newton, 
Voltaire, or Frederick the Great. Of love and es- 
teem, too, he had more than they. Not only was his 
name familiar to nobility, clergy, and philosophers, 
but "there was scarcely a peasant or a citizen, a 
valet de chambre, coachman, or footman, a lady's 

* Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., II., 283. 


chambermaid or a scullion in a kitchen, who was 
not familiar with it, and who did not consider him 
a friend to humankind." * 

His venerable and patriarchal appearance, and 
the novelty of his thoughts, expressed in words as 
simple and graceful as were his manners, caused 
discerning men to declare him one of the most ex- 
traordinary men that ever existed. He was simple 
as Rousseau and witty as Voltaire, yet it was not 
in idealism but in good sense that his genius lay. 
The wise, the enthusiastic, and the frivolous were 
all drawn to him by some trait that won them. To 
the common people he was the restorer of the gold- 
en age; to the polite world he was philosopher, pa- 
triot, and apostle of liberty. 

Paris lost its head over him. At entertainments 
beautiful women vied with each other to place on 
his white head a crown of laurels, and kisses on his 
cheeks.^ He grew weary of sitting for busts and 
portraits and medals. On every jeweler's counter 
his benign features were set in innumerable rings, 
watches, snuff-boxes, and bracelets. His very sin- 
gularity served to keep him in the public eye. Con- 
trast could go no further than Franklin's appearance 
in court. Amid the lace and the embroidery, the 
powder and the perfume, walked this farmer figure, 
with brown coat, round hat, and unpowdered hair. 
He did not ape French manners, but, as Jefferson 

* John Adams, Works, I., 660. 

' Hale, Franklin in France, I., 363, 


expressed it, he subjected France to American in- 

At first Franklin pressed matters a little. Not 
satisfied with his secret interview, he went with the 
other commissioners out to Versailles, and almost 
demanded an official interview, but contented him- 
self at last with a formal written appeal to Ver- 
gennes. He pointed out the American need of 
French naval aid, the difficulty of meeting England's 
attacks when she could transport her army by sea, 
while the patriot army must go by land. To delay 
longer was dangerous. America now offered amity 
and commerce, but this chance might go, never to 
return.^ This appeal was kindly received, but action 
was delayed, and the philosophic Franklin settled 
quietly down to wait. He would not push matters 
or take a high-handed course. 

Franklin's whole diplomatic policy was simple. 
"It is my intention, while I stay here, to procure 
what advantages I can for our country by endeavor- 
ing to please the court." Adams, when he came, a 
year later, wanted the court to know its place, and, 
as a result, it refused to have anything more to do 
with him.^ That stem Coriolanus of diplomacy 
would not flatter the French monarch for all his 
power, but Franklin, seeing that the king took a 
pleasure in reflecting on his generous benevolence 
in assisting an oppressed people, and that he regard- 

^ Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., II., 245. 
Ubid., IV., 117. 


ed it *' as a part of the glory of his reign," thought it 
wise to increase that pleasure by grateful acknowl- 

It was the king whose support was now needed, 
for the rest of France had already gone over to the 
American cause heart and soul. The philosophers 
of France had long before aroused polite society to 
a fanatic worship of religious and political liberty. 
The French people were stirred on these subjects 
to the lowest ranks of society to which such rays 
of thought ever pierced. The Americans seemed to 
be fellow - worshippers of Rousseau and Voltaire. 
However little Jefferson may have been influenced 
by the French philosophy, his preamble to the Dec- 
laration of Independence might have been written 
by Rousseau. His followers in France, who now 
had enormous influence, thought that in America 
their Utopian dreams were being realized. Dwell- 
ing in the most absolute of monarchies, they warmed 
with enthusiasm over America's struggle for con- 
stitutional liberty. The followers of Voltaire, too, 
were charmed with the religious freedom provided 
for in the new state constitutions. Paine's "Com- 
mon Sense" was a delight to both the followers of 
Rousseau and Voltaire, and all the ideas of ''our 
dear republicans" were applauded by Marie An- 
toinette and other enthusiastic but frivolous aris- 
tocrats, who did not see what all this movement 
augured, for themselves. 

* Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., TV., 23. 


By July, 1777, Vergennes had again come to the 
resolution to give America more direct aid. To the 
king he urged aid beyond "the weak and indirect 
assistance hitherto sent out parsimoniously and 
timidly to the colonies" ; something more must now 
be done to help them win and to deserve their grati- 
tude when peace should be restored. Besides, as to 
England, it was better to forestall than to be fore- 
stalled. They must not merely talk well, but act 
well. Not later than January or February of 1778 
America must be openly aided or abandoned alto- 
gether.^ The king approved of the argument, and 
Spain was then appealed to in the same manner. 
Thenceforth, France delayed chiefly in the hope 
of getting Spain to join in the alliance with 

With England, meanwhile, France professed to ob- 
serve all treaties, and ostentatiously proved her zeal 
by restoring prizes too openly brought into her 
ports, imprisoning such persons as were found to 
be fitting out armed vessels against England, warn- 
ing those from America to leave French ports, and 
repeating her orders against the exportation of war- 
like stores. To the commissioners France professed 
a real friendship, wished success to America's cause, 
winked at the supplies obtained in France, and all 
the time continued her own preparations for war. 
Though Franklin saw the duplicity, he felt sure that 
there was sincerity towards America, " especially as 
* Doniol, Participation de la France, II., 461-468. 


the united bent of the nation" was towards the 
patriot cause.* 

While Vergennes was still waiting there came 
most disheartening news from America — the occupa- 
tion of Philadelphia by the British, which was re- 
garded in Europe as a serious blow to the patriot 
cause. Hardly had this news saddened the com- 
missioners, however, when a despatch came, De- 
cember 7, 1777, that Burgoyne was overthrown and 
his troops were prisoners of war. Beaumarchais 
dislocated his arm in his mad haste to get this news 
to the king. Burgoyne's defeat had an inconceiv- 
able effect upon the minds of men ; it was hailed with 
delight throughout Paris, and the rejoicing might 
fitly have followed a French victory w^on by French 
arms.^ Now or never, cried Vergennes. There was 
no more time to lose. A courier \vas hurried off to 
Spain, and work on a treaty of alliance w^as at once 

Spain, owing to changes in the government of 
Portugal, w^hich removed the irritating conditions 
that had aroused Spanish ire, was not so eager for 
w^ar. In addition she had begun to fear that in- 
dependent America might be an ambitious and 
dangerous neighbor on the American continent. 
Her premier said that if France treated with Amer- 
ica the act would lead to certain war, which not only 
could have no good object, but there w^as, as yet, no 

' Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., II., 388. - Ibid. ,11., 452. 
' Doniol, Participation de la France, II., 643, 632-636. 

VOL. IX. — 16 


fixed plan for making it. The possible humiliation 
of England was no good reason for France and Spain 
to begin hostilities. Before the courier could re- 
turn, however, France had decided. After Sara- 
toga, Vergennes showed great haste lest Great 
Britain should acknowledge America's indepen- 
dence, and France thus lose the American gratitude, 
which an open and effective alliance would win. 
The commissioners were informed that his majesty 
would make the treaties that had been previously 
discussed. The terms were quickly agreed upon, 
but for military reasons the papers were not signed 
until February 6, 1778.^ 

One of the two conventions was a commercial 
treaty quite like a draught previously prepared by 
Congress. The other, which was not warranted by 
any instructions from Congress, was a military and 
political alliance with France. The independence 
of the United States was recognized. To achieve 
it was the declared object of the alliance. Com- 
bined military movements were provided for and 
certain probable conquests were divided, while the 
possessions of each in America were guaranteed. 
In the negotiations for peace there was to be a joint 
consultation and approval.^ This was the first and 
only treaty of alliance ever made by the United 

When the news reached America it was received 

* Ratified by Congress May 4, 1778. Journals of Congress. 

* Treaties and Conventions of the U . S., 296-310. 


with joy by the leaders of the revolution, who had 
staked their all on its success, but in the country 
at large it met with mingled joy and sad forebodings. 
It shocked the conservative American mind to have 
all its traditions of hate abruptly broken. English- 
men would not have been more astounded to find 
themselves allied with Frenchmen than were the 
Americans of that day. Not a generation before 
they had fought for their very existence at Great 
Meadow and on the Plains of Abraham with the 
same people who were now their allies. Hatred of 
England had not yet made them lovers of France. 
The alliance was a severe blow to the hopes of 
the loyalists, but they used the known American 
antipathies to France, and New England's hatred of 
Catholicism, to make the treaty as unpopular as 
possible. Can the tiger and the ox feed at one stall ? 
they asked; such an alliance must bring inevitable 
ruin. To bring in such aid was like the Trojans 
dragging the wooden horse within their walls. 
When Gerard, the new French minister, arrived 
there were dark hints that parts of America had 
been ceded to Louis, America's new "guardian of 
liberty." Congress had exchanged the faithful 
mother, England, for France, the treacherous and 
cruel stepmother. To make the alliance distasteful 
to the rugged farmer and the stem Puritan, they 
were reminded of the French dancing-masters, fid- 
dlers, and friseurs.^ Lafayette and his fellow- 
' Van Tyne, Loyalists, 153-156. 


officers were described as the "frog-eating gentry 
now capering through" America, taking snuff and 
bowing thirteen times before their mirrors. 

Americans were promised also a bastile and "the 
felicity of popery." Indeed, the Tory papers de- 
clared, vessels were even now ready to leave France 
with bales of indulgences and tons of holy water, 
relics, beads, and crucifixes. Crape-shifts, hair 
shirts, cowls, and scourges were coming, too, with 
wheels, pincers, shackles, and fire-brands for the 
conversion of America. Franklin himself had al- 
ready been decorated with the order of the holy cross 
of Jerusalem. Absurd as many of the newspaper 
canards were, they could not surpass the foolish 
stories that were rife in the taverns and on the street 
comers where the new treaty was discussed. 

Nevertheless, the Americans as a whole took 
heart again, and if the alliance did not actually 
save the American cause it greatly shortened the 
struggle. Up to this time the English had had the 
enormous advantage of supremacy on the sea. 
Henceforth the French fleet, wherever it might be, 
compelled England in resisting French attacks to 
use many ships which should have been used in 
transporting troops to America. The last great vic- 
tory over England was due also to the aid given at 
Yorktown by the French fleet and army. 




THE news of Burgoyne's surrender had given 
France its jfinal impetus to an alliance with 
America. To the British government the tidings 
came as a staggering blow. It was already battling 
with an ever-growing opposition at home. From 
the beginning of the struggle there had been a 
party in England who believed that ''if despotism 
were once established in America, arbitrary govern- 
ment would at least be attempted in the mother- 
cotmtry." ^ David Hume, in his dying hours, wrote 
that *'if the Court carried the day in America, the 
English Constitution would infallibly perish." * So 
far as the patriot cause was the cause of political 
liberty, the American war was a phase of a struggle 
between two English parties, fighting on both sides 
of the xAtlantic, in the forum in England and on the 
battle-field in America. At a time when America 
was faring ill, Walpole complained that Englishmen 

^ Albemarle, Memoirs of Rockingham, II., 276. 
' Trevelyan, American Revolution, II., pt. ii., 156. 



were exulting over the defeat of fellow-countrymen, 
who were fighting for English liberty as well as for 
their own/ 

From the first the American cause had able de- 
fenders in Parliament. These were men, however, 
who were striving to give votes to the voteless, to 
get for voters the right to elect whom they chose, 
to free a shackled press, and to prevent the king's 
control of Parliament and the courts.^ They feared 
with Pitt that England was doomed to bind her 
own hands, and wear patiently the chains which 
she was forging for her colonies. They defended 
America for the sake of England. '*If Amer- 
ica were subjugated, Britain would not long be 
free." ' 

So formidable was this opposition to the ministe- 
rial political methods that, during the war, England 
was constantly agitated by movements to reform 
the system of electing members of Parliament and 
to overthrow the court's methods of corruption. 
The open meetings of freeholders and freemen in 
this cause, the coimty associations, and the reform- 
ers' committees of correspondence — all met no 
effort of repression by the government.* The move- 
ment was strong enough to inspire awe. 

In and out of Parliament the Whigs rejoiced open- 

^ Walpole's Letters, VI., 409, January 26, 1777. 
^ Sydney, England in the Eighteenth Century, II., 184-188. 
' Correspondence of the Earl of Cornwallis, III,, 360; Chatham, 
Correspondence, IV., t^^t,. 

* Trevelyan, American Revolution, II., pt. ii., 224. 


ly over American victories. In the House of Com- 
mons it was not unustial to speak of the American 
troops as ''our armies," ^ and Frankhn and Henry 
Laurens, the president of Congress, were extrava- 
gantly praised. Newspapers consistently handled 
Washington with respect. One said, "There is not 
a king in Europe but would look like a valet de 
chambreby his side." Benedict Arnold, too, before 
his treason, was a favorite hero, and his picture was 
everywhere, though after his treason he was bitterly 
attacked. Parallels were drawn repeatedly between 
Hampden and Montgomery, and their causes said to 
be the same.^ The English Whig journals openly 
denounced Lord North for having begun an unjust 
war which he was incompetent to conduct. Yet the 
government, which before the war had muzzled the 
press ruthlessly, now allowed America to be praised, 
and endured violent attacks upon itself.^ When so 
many people approved such language the administra- 
tion saw the danger of prosecution. The support 
of the nation was given to the defenders of political 

Midway in the struggle, however, the Americans 
changed the standard about which they rallied — or, 
rather, they thenceforth carried two, liberty and 
independence. Pitt and Burke and their Whig fol- 
lowers, with their eyes still upon the first standard, 

^ Lecky, American Revolution (Woodbtirn's ed.), 336. 
2 Trevelyan, American Revolution, II., pt. ii., 179. 
^Ihid., II., pt. ii., 168-173. 


and ignoring or doubting American fidelity to the 
second, continued the struggle in their behalf. A 
branch of the Whig party, led by the Marquis of 
Rockingham, believed that reconciliation was im- 
possible, and held that the granting of indepen- 
dence was a necessity/ At first this party was small 
— the bulk of the English people adhering to Chat- 
ham, who condemned the king's policy, but who 
hoped for reconciliation. The Tory party, with its 
backing of clergy and country squires, viewed with 
horror the men who would consent to lose America, 
and, deaf to the pleas of Chatham in behalf of 
liberty, demanded that rebellion be crushed. 

After the Declaration of Independence the min- 
istry, with its Tory adherents, were supported in 
carrying on the war by a state of public mind 
easy to understand, however paradoxical it seemed. 
The majority of Englishmen were eager to win, hav- 
ing entered the quarrel, but they hated the cause. 
They supported the king because he stood for per- 
sistent war, but they hated him because he had 
led them into such a detestable conflict. They 
admired the political principles of the Americans, 
but despised their desire to secede from the empire. 
They were insulted by the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence and disgusted with the courtship of France. 
The great damage to English trade and commerce 
still more embittered them. Besides, the cause 
itself wore away by degrees from a question of 

^ J^emoirs of Rockingham, II., 347. 


right and wrong among fellow-countrymen to a war 
between England and a foreign nation/ 

Then, too, men were more influenced by the prom- 
ises of the ministry — a brief war, costing little, and 
that cost easily reimbursed by taxes afterwards to 
be laid in America. The colonists were reported as 
cowards and easily conquered. They would prove 
very submissive after being trounced — so the min- 
istry promised. Until events proved these asser- 
tions to be false, the war as a war was popular. 
The news of Burgoyne's defeat went far to destroy 
the illusion that the American war would prove 
brief, cheap, or easy. Moreover, the king and his 
ministry knew that war with France was now im- 
minent. They hoped no longer for America's un- 
conditional submission. The tide of English opinion 
was turning. 

The king saw the folly of resistance, and un- 
willingly consented to new conciliatory propositions 
to America.^ On the eve of the adjournment of 
Parliament, December 10, 1777, Lord North an- 
noimced his intention of offering measures of con- 
ciliation after the holidays. Chatham spoke on the 
next day, urging immediate action;^ there was not 
a day to lose, he cried, for France would soon be 
in the contest. His warning was not heeded, how- 
ever, and not until February 17, 1778, when the 

^Memoirs of Rockingham, II., 305. 

' Donne, Correspondence of George III. with Lord North, II., 
125. 'Chatham, Correspondence, IV., 478. 


French and American treaty was already signed, 
did North bring into Parliament his bills of concilia- 
tion. Everything that America had asked, except 
independence, the ministry was willing to concede.* 
Tea duty, taxes, commercial restrictions — all were 
thrown into one peace-offering at America's feet. 
Commissioners were at once to be sent over -sea 
with pardons for everybody. The capitulation of 
the ministry was complete, except as to American 

If Lord North had resigned, as a minister whose 
policy had failed should have done, the House of 
Commons would have known what to do, but it now 
sat in amazement. Here was all that any one ex- 
cept the Rockingham faction of the Whigs had de- 
sired. Members listened '' with profound attention " 
to North's speech in defence of his measures,^ "but 
without a single mark of approbation to any part." 
No class was pleased ; the Tories cried that they were 
betrayed, while the Whigs, getting no credit from 
North for the use of their own thimder, were dis- 
gusted with their new and unexpected ally. 

North spoke truly enough, too, when he said that 
he had believed in moderation all along; but it was 
in him the greater fault that for five years he had 
carried on a cruel war, contrary to his own judgment 
and wishes, because the king had appealed to his 
loyalty. King George even threatened to abdicate 

* 18 George III., chaps, xi., xii., xiii. 
^ Annual Register, 1777. XXI., 133. 


if his minister resigned/ and North weakly refused 
to put his majesty to the test, thus holding his 
loyalty above his patriotism. As no one could 
consistently vote against the bill, it passed, and 
the commissioners, Lord Carlisle, William Eden, 
and George Johnstone, were duly sent to America. 

A month before the commissioners were ready 
to leave England, France announced (March 13, 
1778)^ that she had formed an alliance with Amer- 
ica. England and France were at once face to face 
in open war. It was one of the most critical mo- 
ments in British history; the nation had no confi- 
dence either in her ministers or her generals, it was 
difficult to raise armies at home, and the foreign 
sources appeared to be closed by the action of Fred- 
erick the Great in forbidding to German soldiers 
passage through his dominions.^ Nothing but the 
imperial spirit and an economic fallacy of the time 
kept the majority of Englishmen to the support of 
the American war. If America became indepen- 
dent, they reasoned, all of its great commerce would 
be diverted from England to other countries, and 
British power would decay.^ 

Under this conviction the majority thought only 
of continuing the war, and with one accord they 
turned to Chatham, the one man who inspired uni- 

* Donne, Correspondence of George III. with I^rd North, II., 
154- ^Annual Register, XXI., 159. 

^Memoirs of Rockingham, II., 329; Lowell, Hessians in the 
Revolution, 52, 53, Amer. Hist. Review, IX., 469. 

* Hume, Letters (Hill's ed.), 288, 296. 


versal confidence. To Chatham more than any 
other individual the nation rightly attributed the 
British supremacy among nations. His genius had 
led England to the rule of the sea, to the overthrow 
of French power in America, and to the establish- 
ment of a colonial system that embraced the utter- 
most lands of the earth. At a time when Dr. John- 
son was "willing to love all mankind, except an 
American,"^ Chatham's sympathies reached even 
to those depths, and America in turn loved him. 
England now looked to him as a savior. Feared in 
France, reverenced in America, and the idol of all 
Englishmen, he would be great for conciliation, or, 
if that failed, great as an administrator of war. 
All parties called for Chatham — North, Mansfield, 
Camden, the greatest Tories, and the greatest foes 
of the great commoner, all urged the king to call 
him to the head of the ministry. 

Almost alone among Englishmen George III. re- 
mained immoved. " No advantage to this country," 
cried the king, '*no present danger to myself, can 
ever make me address myself to Lord Chatham.** 
He might have a place under Lord North, but the 
king would not see him ; ^ indeed, he did not expect 
''Lord Chatham and his crew" to come to North's 
assistance. George III. was "stuffed with all hon- 

' Boswell, Johnson (Napier's ed.), III., 8. 

' Chatham, Correspondence, IV., 51 1-5 17 ; Memoirs of Rocking- 
ham, II., 351; Donne, Correspondence of George III. with Lord 
North, II. 149. 


orable virtues," but he was stubborn and unduly 
anxious to be absolute. He had assumed the right 
to direct in all particulars the policy of the govern- 
ment, at times prescribing even the arguments to 
be used in Parliament in defence of the administra- 
tion. Ministers had acted as his agents, regardless 
of their better judgments, and now he did not pro- 
pose to be a slave the rest of his days to Lord Chat- 
ham. '' Rather than be shackled by these desperate 
men," wrote the king, '*! will rather see any form 
of government introduced into this island, and lose 
my crown than wear it as a disgrace." * Thus for 
purely personal reasons the king ignored the welfare 
of his realm. 

It is doubtful whether Chatham could have ce- 
mented the broken empire, but even while the king 
was refusing to let him try the great statesman 
came to his life's end. April 7, 1778, he appeared 
in the House of Lords to protest against a proposal 
to grant American independence. In a voice barely 
audible even in the awed silence of the chamber, he 
protested against the ''dismemberment of this an- 
cient and most noble monarchy." He sat down to 
listen to the opposition, and as he rose to reply he 
fell back senseless and was borne from the chamber 
to die.^ 

Sublime and awful as the passing of the great 
leader was to all others, it meant but one thing to 

* Donne, Correspondence of George III. with Lord North, II., 
156. 'Chatham, Correspondence, IV., 519. 


the king. "May not the pohtical exit of Lord 
Chatham,** he wrote to North, "incline you to con- 
tinue at the head of my affairs ?" ^ The government 
was in fact strengthened, for the leader of the oppo- 
sition was gone. The war with France was popular,* 
and most Englishmen rose to it with a feeling of joy 
that the war with America could not inspire. 

While England was gathering her forces for the 
attack upon her new enemy, her peace commission- 
ers were crossing the Atlantic, and early in June of 
1778 arrived in America.^ Except the fact of the 
French alliance, many things seemed to favor their 
project. The army had suffered terribly during the 
winter just passed, and an intrigue among the officers 
and in Congress — the infamous " Conway Cabal " — 
had even attempted the overthrow of Washington. 
The financial troubles of Congress were nearing a 
crisis, and there was a general weariness of war. 

When, in December, 1777, Washington retired to 
Valley Forge, his army entered upon a most try- 
ing winter encampment. The attempt of Congress 
to make of the commissary department a demo- 
cratic institution had utterly ruined its effectiveness. 
Unfit men filled the offices of the department, and 
responsibility rested nowhere. While "hogsheads 
of shoes, stockings, and clothing were lying at differ- 

* Donne, Correspondence of George III. with Lord North, II., 

2 Lecky, American Revolution (Woodburn's ed.), 355-357- 

3 Mahon, History of England (ed. of 1853), VI., 246. 


ent places on the roads, . . . perishing for want of 
teams" or teamsters, nearly three thousand men in 
Washington's army were unfit for duty because they 
were barefoot and otherwise naked. Steuben wrote 
that the men were literally naked, some in the fullest 
extent of the word. Hundreds of horses starved 
to death. Men yoked to the provision wagons like 
oxen brought meagre relief to starving comrades, 
who lay in huts or wigwams of twisted boughs. 
At evening the cry would go up along the soldiers* 
huts, *' No meat, no meat." ^ 

Washington pleaded with Congress to do some- 
thing to relieve the suffering. In the middle of 
February there was "little less than a famine in 
the camp." Indeed, a part of the army had been 
for a week without any kind of flesh. ** Naked 
and starving as they are," wrote Washington, "we 
cannot enough admire the incomparable patience 
and fidelity of the soldiery." He marvelled that 
there had not already been "general mutiny and 
dispersion." There were "strong symptoms of dis- 
content," and only the most active efforts every- 
where could long "avert so shocking a catas- 
trophe." In fact, during that winter over two 
thousand three hundred deserters went into Phila- 
delphia and joined the British army.^ In the words 

^ Journals of Congress, April 14, 1777; Gordon, American Rev- 
olution, III., 68 et seq; Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VI., 
260; Kapp, Life of Steuben, 118; Brooks, Henry Knox, 115; 
Hart, Contemporaries, II., 570. 

2 The Examination of Jos. Galloway (Balch's ed.). 


of an American officer, **the love of freedom ... is 
controlled by hunger, the keenest of necessities."^ 
As a Tory expressed it — in Washington's camp the 
soldier had thirteen kings and no bread, and it 
seemed better to serve one king and have plenty 
of bread. 

Not only were there desertions, but, as Baron 
Steuben complained, there was an eternal ebb and 
flow of men engaged for three, six, and nine months. 
Steuben now entered upon his great work of drilling 
and organizing the army. He was amazed to find 
that the terfns company, regiment, brigade, and 
division had no significance. Sometimes a regiment 
was greater than a brigade. The ranks were so 
depleted that Steuben found a regiment with but 
thirty men and a company consisting of one 
corporal. The use of bayonets was not under- 
stood; they were either left at home or used to 
toast beefsteak. The arms were covered with rust, 
and in most cases cow-horns or tin boxes served for 
pouches.^ Steuben could not make them braver 
men, but he did begin with great success to drill 
them into better soldiers and to teach them the 
use of their weapons. 

While Steuben was reforming in this direction, 
Washington strove against the prevailing demo- 
cratic horror of a standing army. Though Con- 
gress had authorized eighty thousand men, Wash- 

' Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VI., 381. 
' Kapp, Steuben, 115, 117. 



ington never had more than eleven thousand 
during his struggle with Howe in 1777. Congress's 
refusal of pensions made the officers fearful of 
their future, and Washington noticed **the fre- 
quent defection of officers seduced by views of 
private interest ... to abandon the cause of their 
country." Numbers went home and entered upon 
more lucrative employment.^ Some system of half- 
pay alone would save the cause, Washington de- 
clared, and Congress answered by a niggardly grant 
for seven years. ^ The large fortunes to be won 
outside of the army in those days of speculation 
formed too great a contrast for patriotism to with- 
stand. *'Men may speculate," Washington wrote, 
''they may talk of patriotism," and draw examples 
of it from ancient stories, but it was no sufficient 
basis for a long and bloody war. I know patriotism 
exists, he continued, "and I know it has done 
much in the present contest, but ... a great and 
lasting war can never be supported on this principle 
alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest 
or some reward." ' 

Sensible as the arguments of Washington were, 
the Continental Congress was so overwhelmed by 
present financial difficulties that it had some de- 
fence for its tight-fisted policy. To raise money for 
the war had been a difficult problem from the first. 

^ Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), V., 305, 312, 313, 322, 
351, VI., 168. ^Journals of Congress, May 15, 1778. 

3 Washington, Wriiings (Sparks's ed.), V., 323. 


Amid the overthrowing of old governments, driv- 
ing out governors, and forming temporary govern- 
ments, it did not seem prudent for a body with no 
defined powers or jurisdiction, which met for one 
purpose and stayed for another, to try to tax, where 
it had no power, for the purpose of waging a war in 
opposition to a tax. Yet before the close of 1776 
Congress had an army and a navy, and foreign 
representatives, and a postal system to be provided 
for. Everything pointed to paper money as the 
only means of escape. 

Besides the necessity which seemed to demand 
fiat money, there was the habit which the colonies 
had acquired. At an early date (1690), Massa- 
chusetts, in order to pay the expenses of a military 
fiasco, had been tempted to avoid increased taxation 
by issuing bills of credit, which ''like the River 
Nyle in Egypt," were to "make all the land fruit- 
ful.*'* Her example was followed with evil con- 
sequences, to which the colonists, except "the men 
of business and property," were blind,^ and when, 
1764, Parliament passed an act prohibiting the 
emission of bills of credit, the colonists bitterly 
resented it.^ The act for their good became a 
cause of revolution. For eighty years they had 
been habituated to paper money based on public 

^ Tracts Relative to the Currency of Mass. (Davis's ed.), 383; 
Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, I., 356; Greene, Provincial 
America, chap. xvii. ' Pownall, Administration, I., 198. 

' 4 George III,, chap, xxxiv.; Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), 
III., 418. 


credit and pledged taxes, or issued at loan ofQces 
on land security, and nothing was more natural than 
for Congress to turn in the hour of need to this 
temporary resource. 

That policy once entered upon could not be 
checked, and before the close of the war over $240,- 
000,000 had been issued, and side by side with it, in 
ruinous rivalry, was over $200,000,000 issued by 
the states in spite of the protests of Congress. 
Beyond $20,000,000 the congressional alchemy 
failed to change paper into gold, and early in 1777 
depreciation to the extent of thirty-three and one- 
half per cent, was recognized by law in Penn- 
sylvania.^ All financial arrangements made before 
the war were thereby deranged. Persons depending 
upon life incomes, fixed salaries, or fixed rents were 
ruined. Widows and orphans and all who had 
saved in the years before the war lost daily, while 
many debtors hastened to pay their debts with 
depreciated bills. ^ They took advantage of legal- 
tender laws, hastily passed in most of the states to 
stay the downward plunge of distrusted paper, and 
debtors pursued their creditors "in triumph, paying 
them without mercy." ^ Then prices soared to ab- 
surd heights, because the owners of goods tried to 
exact in quantity what the paper medium lacked 
in value. To meet this emergency, laws were passed 

1 Phillips, Amer. Paper Currency, I., 33. 

2 Bullock, Monetary History of the United States, 65, 69, 

3 Witherspoon, Works (ed. of 1803), IV., 553- 


at various times, in one state to-day and in another 
to-morrow, regulating the prices for which goods 
might be sold. Addresses poured in upon Con- 
gress, and conventions were held to try the balm 
of uniformity for the bruised finance/ Prices varied 
so widely in different localities, and from week to 
week, that sharp, money - getting men rapidly en- 
riched themselves. Many men left honest trades to 
become rich knaves. 

The moral evil increased daily. "Speculation, 
peculation, engrossing, forestalling," wrote Wash- 
ington, "afford too many melancholy proofs of the 
decay of public virtue." ^ In Philadelphia many 
seemed abandoned to the most unrestrained luxury 
of living. Fortunes were quickly won and quickly 
spent. Nothing seemed stable, and the spirit of 
gambling grew apace. Worse still was the tempta- 
tion to counterfeit.' The crude designs and signa- 
tures were easy to copy and forge, and, in spite of 
terrifying laws passed post-haste to frighten down 
the evil, the volume of counterfeits grew, and 
dragged down with it the already discredited 
genuine paper. The British quickly seized upon 
this weapon for ruining the patriot cause, and large 
quantities of counterfeits were made within the 
British lines, thence spreading broadcast over 

* Boutell, Roger Sherman, 103; Continental Congress, Papers 
(MSS.), XLIIL, "Addresses." 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VII., 388. 
' BoUes, Financial History, chap, xi, 


America.* As a result of the Continental bills of 

credit and the attendant evils, a witness truly said 

of the patriots, "Their paper money hangs like a 

mill-stone about "kheir necks and is ready to sink 
them." 2 

Added to the financial muddle was the real 
economic distress of the country due to the dis- 
turbance of trade. Many articles for which America 
had depended upon Europe were now to be had 
only by desperate ventures on a sea ranged by 
British war vessels. It was along the seaboard, 
indeed, that there was the greatest distress. The 
whole defenceless coast was exposed to the attacks 
of the British ships. New England had lost her 
Newfoundland fisheries and her trade with the 
West Indies was suspended. Household manufact- 
ure had, to an extent, however, supplied some of 
the greatest wants in textile fabrics, both linen and 
woollen, and America was proving true the assertion 
of Burke, that a rich country with an ingenious and 
capable people would not succumb, enervated by 
the wants created by their own development of 
civilization.^ One by one the needs of the situation 
were met. Gimpowder, iron implements, arms, 
everything that war or every-day life demanded, 
came forth as if conjured by necessity. Women 

* Bolles, Financial History, 151 ; Van Tyne, Loyalists, 151, and 
App. C. ^Magazine of Am. Hist., VI., 57. 

'Weeden, Econ. and Soc. Hist, of New England, II., 788, 
et seq. 


toiled with spindle and distaff, blacksmiths ham- 
mered and farmers ploughed, and all the plain 
home industries were plied while war dragged on 
year after year. 

The want and starvation in the winter's camp at 
Valley Forge might seem to indicate famine in the 
surrounding country; but at Philadelphia, not a 
day's journey distant, the British had no difficulty 
in getting fresh provision from all the country round.* 
Howe paid gold for supplies, while Washington 
paid paper, and it was a hardy patriot who was 
blind to the difference. Every effort of the state 
governments to prevent this traffic failed. Laws 
that threatened the offender with fines, imprison- 
ment, pillory, or even cropping of the ears were of 
no avail.^ Produce was plenty, but ready and good 
money was not, and the British army was rather 
welcome than otherwise, because it furnished a 

It was not as in an enemy's country that the 
British spent the winter in Philadelphia. It was 
a gay season from the first, and in the spring, when 
Sir William Howe was recalled and Sir Henry Clin- 
ton took his place in supreme command, there was 
a grand tournament,^ known as the Meschianzaj 

* Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2096. 

^ Cf. laws of New York, April 13, 1782 ; New Jersey, December 
22, 1780; Delaware, March 20, 1778; Rhode Island, October, 
November, 1775; Connecticut, February 12, 1778. 

^Annual Register (1778), 264; Watson, Annals of Phila., II., 
290; Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2096. 


which was said to have brought together the most 
brilliant assembly the New World had ever known. 

Hardly had this imposing pageant closed when 
Clinton received orders to leave Philadelphia and 
concentrate his forces at New York. While the 
army was preparing for this move the peace com- 
missioners arrived, finding everything in confusion, 
and about three thousand of the miserable in- 
habitants embarked on board British ships to escape 
from a place where they thought they should re- 
ceive no mercy from their returning countrymen.* 
There were not ships enough for refugees and 
soldiers, too, and Clinton decided to lead his army 
across New Jersey. 

As the British left Philadelphia the patriots en- 
tered. Leaving Arnold in command of the city, 
Washington pushed on to strike a blow at the 
British, which might at least turn their march into 
a retreat. At Monmouth the American army 
attacked, but, with victory almost within their 
grasp, the opportunity of crushing the enemy was 
lost by the treachery or cowardice of General Lee, 
who had recentty been exchanged and restored to 
his place in the American army.^ Lee, like Parolles, 
had already begun to smell somewhat strong of 
fortune's strong displeasure, and was soon after 
court-martialled and suspended from the army, 

^Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 1109. 

^Brooks, Henry Knox, 119; Pa. Archives, VI., 606; Hamil- 
ton's letter, in Pa. Magazine of History, II., 140. 


which he never again rejoined. By prompt action 
Washington saved his army from being thrown into 
confusion, and the issue of the battle, though it 
did not hinder the British march to New York,* 
was such as to bring prestige to the American army 
and its leader. Washington now marched up the 
Hudson and encamped at White Plains. 

The hopes of the peace commissioners were 
dimmed by the departure of the British army from 
Philadelphia just as they arrived to begin their 
negotiations. They did not despair, however, but 
made every effort to succeed, going beyond their 
actual powers, so far as to promise that without the 
consent of American assemblies no troops should 
ever be sent to America again. ^ They even offered 
representation in the English Parliament. Their 
zeal was in vain, for Congress by a unanimous res- 
olution refused "to consider propositions so deroga- 
tory to the honor of an independent nation." If 
the king would withdraw his fleets and armies or 
acknowledge American independence they would 
strive earnestly "to spare the further effusion of 
human blood." * 

Still the commissioners persisted, but Congress 
refused to receive their letters, and at last, in 
October of 1778, the commissioners returned to 
England after issuing a proclamation which offered 

* See Clinton's account, in Stevens's Facsimiles, No. 1114. 
^ Ihid., No. 1 104. 

* Journals of Congress, June 17, July 18, 1778. 


pardon to all who would lay down their arms and 
remain loyal to Great Britain. The promises made 
to Congress were now made to the state legislatures, 
and they were warned not to persist in their demand 
for independence and in their alliance with France. 
Such conduct would change the whole contest, and 
England would seek by every means in her power to 
"destroy or render useless a connection contrived 
for her ruin and for the aggrandizement of France." ^ 
If the British colonies were to become an accession 
to France, England would "render that accession 
of as little avail as possible to her enemy," The 
war of desolation thus promised was prophetic of the 
character of much of the rest of the struggle. 

* Annual Register, XXI., 32a. 



THE character of the war was not long in chang- 
ing after the mission of conciliation proved in 
vain. The autumn of 1778 witnessed the plunder- 
ing of Martha's Vineyard, while New Bedford and Fair 
Haven were burned because they were the ' ' nests 
of American privateers." The coast of New Jersey 
was harried in like manner, and small bodies of 
American troops surprised in out-of-the-way posts 
were given no quarter.^ The new mode of warfare 
was made no more palatable to the patriots by the 
report that it was largely the work of Tory refugees, 
now beginning to take an active part against their 

By the natural course of events the relations of 
the loyalists and patriots became greatly embittered. 
The early attacks upon loyalists increased in severity, 
until those who did not conceal their sympathies were 
obliged to flee to the British lines or to foreign lands. 

^ Governor Livingston's summary, in Sabine, Am. Loyalists, 2 1 ; 
Acts of New Jersey (17 7 5-1 7 83), 83; Journals of Congress, Feb- 
ruary 27, 1778; N. J. Archives, 2d series, I., 451., II., passinj, 




Still there were left great numbers who had no good 
will for the patriot cause. Their fellow - loyalists 
who had fled to the British army well understood 
their plight, and constantly urged the British com- 
manders to send skeleton regiments into the regions 
where loyalty was strongest/ giving assurance that 
many of their brethren would at once flock to the 
king's standard. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Dela- 
ware, and Maryland were regarded as especially 
promivSing fields for such recruiting. This advice 
was usually neglected, and loyalist aid was scorned 
as of no value. The British officers and soldiers felt 
a cold tolerance for the loyalists, and never gave them 
a warm and sincere reception. Loyal as well as re- 
bellious colonists were "our colonists," not equals. 
The Whigs, however, were well aware of this danger 
in their midst. The menace of a ''Tory insurrec- 
tion" frequently prevented the local militia coming 
to the aid of the regular army. Nevertheless, there 
were but few instances of local uprisings, and such as 
there were gave little aid to the British military plans. 
The refugee loyalists, however, began early to 
take a part in the struggle by joining the British 
army. Active leaders with commissions from the 
crown organized companies of exiled or outlawed 
loyalists. Such were the regiments raised by Allan 
McLean and Guy Johnson in New York,^ and that 
company of fugitives, led by Sir John Johnson, 

* Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2097. 

* Flick, Loyalism in New York, loi. 


which hung on the Canadian frontier, until with an- 
other company, known as Butler's ''Tory Rangers,** 
they came with St. Leger to aid Burgoyne's inva- 
sion by the capture of Fort Stanwix. When they 
were routed and sent back over the Canadian line, it 
was only to return and become the terror of the New 
York frontier. 

In company with their Indian allies they entered, 
in the summer of 1778, into the Wyoming Valley, 
where dwelt some settlers from Connecticut in terri- 
tory the ownership of which was disputed by Penn- 
sylvania. No aid was likely to come from that state, 
and the settlement lay temptingly exposed to the rav- 
ages of the partisan bands. They swept through the 
valley (July i to 4), leaving such a scene of desola- 
tion and murder that it seems to-day the surpassing 
horror of the Revolution.- 

Late in the fall (November 11) Butler and Brandt, 
his Indian ally, repeated the terrors of the Wyo- 
ming expedition by burning the village of Cherry 
Valley,^ in central New York, and murdering about 
fifty of the inhabitants. At last Congress was 
aroused to send them succor. General Sullivan en- 
tered the ravaged territory and defeated the Tory 
forces at Newtown (August 29, 1779), checking 
them for a time,^ though they returned and con- 

* Pa. Archives, VI., 626, 634, 647, 664. 
' Clinton, Papers, IV., 266-300. 

' Sullivan's official report, in Cook, Sullivan's Indian Ex* 
pedition, 296. 





50 100 200 

m Harshest 

^^ Lightest 


tinned their reign of terror until the close of the 

During the first two years of the war the southern 
frontier was ravaged by Indians who were incited 
and aided by American friends of the king. In the 
Northwest, too, the Tories were of great service in 
keeping the British control of that region until, in 
1779, George Rogers Clark defeated Colonel Ham- 
ilton and his loyalist soldiers.* 

In a manner less conspicuous than these struggles 
on the frontier the loyaHsts became an important 
factor in the war. When Howe came to New York 
he overcame their aversion to joining the regular 
army by bounties and pay which they much needed 
in their destitute condition, and thus increased his 
army by thousands of loyalists. Try on, the exiled 
governor of New York, was made major-general of the 
loyal provincial forces; and when Parliament, in 
1779, provided that provincial officers should take 
rank as juniors of the rank to which they belonged, 
the service with the regular troops became popular. 
New York alone furnished about fifteen thousand 
men to the British army and navy.^ 

Many loyaHsts did not like this regular service, 
however, and in 1778 the refugees in New York be- 
gan to form companies of loyal mihtia in which the 
recruits might choose their own leaders. Promi- 

* ///. Hist. Col., I., 400, 401. 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, i68; Rivington's Gazette, May 19, 1779; 
Flick, Lovalism in Neiv York, 112. 


nent men among them urged repeatedly that they 
arm against their ''cruel and inveterate enemies, 
the rebels." So many appeared at the musters 
and the drills of the loyal militia that it was said 
with pride, and believed, that the whole number 
of loyalists mustered on one of these occasions ex- 
ceeded Washington's Continental army/ In Janu- 
ary, 1780, the strength of the loyal militia in 
New York was estimated at five thousand eight 
hundred and fifty-five men.'-^ In addition to the 
fifteen thousand regulars. New York furnished about 
eight thousand loyal militia. 

Another resource of the loyalists was privateering, 
which had been discouraged by the British govern- 
ment while there was hope of conciliating America. 
When that hope was gone, ready sanction was given 
to this means of making war a greater curse. The 
refugees were allured by every device to enlist in 
this enterprise. They were, to quote the adver- 
tisements, to have "a chance to repair their losses 
at the expense of their perfidious enemies." ^ The 
direction of the enterprise was soon intrusted to a 
board of directors, principal loyalists from each 
American province, who approved of the officers 
before they received commissions. 

Both by land and sea these refugees from the 

^ Van Tyne, Loyalists, 172. 
^Rtvington's Gazette ,] anusiry 29, 1780. 

3 A/", y. Colonial MSS., VIII., 740-764; Rivington's Gazette^ 
November 27, 1779. 


persecutions of their fellow-countrymen began to 
retaliate upon those who had driven them from 
their homes and who were already confiscating loyal 
property to help pay the expenses of war. The 
British government ruled that they should plunder 
''rebels" only, and that they might hold what they 
seized. Prisoners taken by them were to be ex- 
changed for captured loyalists. In a word, they 
were licensed to prey upon the land and the sea, " to 
prowl for their own living," as the Whig papers 
put it, *'and maintain their families by plunder and 

The land forces, leaving the British lines for 
a few hours, would dash into the enemy's coim- 
try, up the Hudson, into "indigo Connecticut," or 
over to New Jersey, and drive of^ horses and cattle, 
kidnap the Whig owners, and in some cases leave a 
village in ruin and desolation.^ Every farmer lived 
in fear of the Tories ''lurking in the woods," and 
measured his loss not only by the amount of which 
he was robbed, but by the harvests which he dared 
not gather, and which lay rotting in the fields. 
Committeemen and members of the state legislatures 
were kept in terror by the occasional capture of one 
of their number and horrible stories of his fate. 
Jails were emptied and burned, and many Tories 
thus liberated. In spite of the efforts of the Whig 
governments to terrify these marauders by hanging 

* Van T5me, Loyalists, 175; N. J. Archives, 2d series, I., II.; 
Index under "Raids" and "Tories." 


them as murderers when they were caught, their 
expeditions continued, and helped to evolve that 
hatred of the Tory which persisted long after the 
other wounds of the war were healed. 

Along the sea -coast the loyalists harassed their 
enemies in the same way.^ From a station at 
Lloyd's Neck, on Long Island, the fleet of associated 
loyalists made repeated attacks upon the whole 
New England coast. So many of these marauding 
ventures went forth under the cover of night that 
"owls and ghosts " and "thieves and Tories" came 
to be closely associated in Whig minds. Many of 
these attacks were of a petty nature, and resulted 
only in captures of sheep, poultry, cattle, wood, corn, 
and an occasional Whig who had tried to resist their 
predatory attempts. 

The most serious loyalist expedition was led 
(July, 1779) by Governor Tryon, who chiefly direct- 
ed the operations of the loyalists, against the coast 
of Connecticut. He laid Fairfield and Norwalk in 
ashes, and burned the ships in New Haven harbor.* 
That town was fired, too, but the yeomanry in the 
vicinity drove the marauders away and prevented 
further destruction. 

As the importance of loyalist services to the Brit- 
ish grew, patriot intolerance increased. Between 
Whig and Tory there had been growing, from the 
first, a tissue of recrimination, retaliation, and mut- 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 182. 

' Conn. State Records, II., 423, 42,5, 426. 


ual hate that caused them to view each other with 
distorted vision. The patriot saw in the loyalists 
only traitors who were undermining American liber- 
ties; who had occasioned the war by persuading 
the king that the patriots were rebels ; had tempted 
the savages to join the British standard, and with 
them had scalped the aged and the fair and the help- 
less. Everything that was done by the most aban- 
doned wretches who took up the British cause was 
regarded as the innate character of every loyalist 
whether declared or secret. Not to favor the Revo- 
lution was to be its enemy. Even the most sober 
public documents spoke of the loyalists as " still pur- 
suing their dark and criminal designs of enslaving 

From lawless persecution of the Tories by irre- 
sponsible mobs, the Whigs had advanced to a con- 
trol by revolutionary committees, who drove them 
from the community, denouncing them as "in- 
corrigibles," and forbidding them food or comfort.* 
Then the state conventions took them in hand, and 
finally the state legislatures and the Continental 
Congress. The aim of persecution seemed at first 
to be the conversion of the Tory; but as the war 
advanced a spirit of revenge and hate was manifest. 
The Whigs forgot that these men had been their re- 
spected neighbors, and they seemed to believe them 
born with a natural ferocity, like the savage. 

The refugees at least escaped further personal per- 

* Hunt, Provincial Committees 0} Safety, 60, 80. 

VOL. IX.— 18 


secution, though they left their property at the 
mercy of the Whigs; but the suspected loyalists — 
those who did not openly take the British side, 
though they would not declare against them — ^were 
constant sufferers. They were early deprived of the 
right to vote, for they were not citizens of the new 
states, the Whigs argued, if they refused the oath 
of allegiance. When they tried to vote they were fined 
and imprisoned. All offices of trust or profit were 
forbidden them.^ In the courts of law not even the 
rights of a foreigner were left them ; they could not 
sue their debtors or have recourse in law for any 
assault, insult, blackmail, or slander ; they could not 
serve as guardians or executors, or even buy and sell 
land or make a will. Their deeds of gift were in- 
valid, and their property was at the mercy of their 
fellow-men. None of them might serve on a jury, 
and lawyers who refused the oath of allegiance to 
the Whig cause were denied practice in the courts.^ 
New York and New Jersey were especially severe 
in this matter, while Pennsylvania removed loyal 
sheriffs, justices, and the like, as well as the lawyers. 
That the rabble should have made all practical jus- 
tice impossible for the Tories was an inevitable re- 
sult of the war, but the refusal by the legislatures of 
even theoretical justice shows how deep-seated politi- 
cal hate had become. 

Few of the states went further than depriving 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, App. B. 

^ Laws of New York, October, 1779. 


lawyers of their profession; but the Pennsylvania 
legislature suspended the powers of the loyalist 
trustees of the College of Philadelphia, forbade all 
persons who refused to take the oath of allegiance to 
act as professors, masters, and tutors, or even school- 
masters.^ " The rising generation," explained a sim- 
ilar New Jersey law, *' should be early instructed in the 
principles of public virtue and . . . the amiable ideas 
of liberty and patriotism, and at the same time in- 
spired with the keenest abhorrence of despotic and 
arbitrary power." ^ It was an unnecessary law, how- 
ever, for zealous patriots were not sending their 
children to Tory school-masters any more than they 
were buying drugs of Tory apothecaries, or employ- 
ing Tory physicians. Many a doctor was ruined 
because people feared to employ him. Rumor had 
it that Tory medicines were all more or less poi- 
soned. Even merchants and traders were ruined 
by legislative persecution or by the slanders of 
Whig rivals. 

The laws did not stop here, but placed an inter- 
dict upon all speaking and writing against the pa- 
triot cause. Congress urged this as early as Jan- 
uary of 1776, and the states acted so readily that it 
was soon truthfully said that ''there is more liberty 
in Turkey than in the dominions of Congress." 
Men must neither speak ill of Congress or affirm 
the king's authority over the United States, not 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 322, App. B. 
^ Laws of New Jersey, October 6, 1777, 


even "under the pretence of prayer." Enormous 
fines, half of which might go to the informer, pun- 
ished the offenders/ Imprisonment and even death 
was the penalty in some cases.^ The Declaration of 
Independence was made a sacred subject. No word 
was tolerated against the raising of a Continental 
army, and not a whisper derogatory to the Continen- 
tal money. Undoubted Whigs might safely refuse 
the paper money, but a suspected Tory became the 
sink for all this financial refuse. His rents were paid 
in it. He got the "worthless rags" for his produce, 
but often must buy his necessities with hard money. 
Let him protest, and a violent attack swept away all 
his wealth at once. He was treated as a '* disaffected 
and evil-minded person" who had entered a "gi- 
gantic plot" to depreciate the Continental currency. 
In the midst of this democratic revolution the 
liberty of the individual was hedged on every side. 
The presence of many spies made the identification 
of strangers very important,^ hence every traveller, 
whether gentleman, express carrier, or common beg- 
gar, was forced to carry a certificate of character 
from Congress or some local committee. Inn-keep- 
ers, ferrymen, and stage-drivers were fined if they 
failed to ask for it. Reputed Tories could not get 
these certificates, and were in consequence tied to 
their homes, where they often found the least toler- 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, App. C. 

' Laws of New York, March. 1781. 

• Van Tyne, Loyalists, 205, App. C. 


ance. The certificate system kept the Tories, too, 
where the compulsory militia service enforced by the 
patriots drove them to the support of a cause they 
despised. Refusal to serve branded a man as a Tory/ 
Religious scruples were as a rule respected, but one's 
record for piety must be unimpeachable. There were 
heavy fines for a failure to appear at muster. Some- 
times men were forcibly placed in the ranks, and even 
compelled to march with muskets tied to their backs. 
Nor did the Whigs stop with forcing men to arms, 
but the enemies of their cause were obliged to cele- 
brate their victories, to illuminate their houses in 
honor of Independence Day, and unwilling clergy 
were forced to preside at fast-day ceremonies. 

If we regard the sum of these restraints, the wings 
of loyalist freedom were very closely clipped. The 
Tory could not vote or hold office ; he had no legal 
redress for his wrongs; no loyalist member of the 
bar could defend him ; he was denied his customary 
vocation and his liberty to speak or write his opin- 
ions; he could not travel or trade where he chose, 
and he must pay and fight for the cause he hated. 
It must be remembered, however, that all of these 
restrictions were not to be found in any one place 
nor at any one time. Nor were they rigorously en- 
forced except where the cloud of war hung most 
threateningly. At such times, as Washington wrote 
(January 6, 1776), "the situation of our affairs 
seems to call for regulations like these." . . . " Vigor- 
* Van Tyne, Loyalists, 207. 


ous measures, and such as at other times would 
appear extraordinary, are now become absolutely 

In spite of every effort, however, no legal restraints 
could drive the loyalists to a line of conduct that 
satisfied the patriots. Their very neutrality was 
dangerous to the patriot cause. Their respectability 
and their former social influence caused them still 
to be examples for imitation. Ostracism by common 
consent or by the order of revolutionary committees 
had destroyed the Tory influence in the early days 
when feehng was high, but, as the war dragged on, 
men became more willing to listen to the counsels of 
the loyalists, and were often won to their point of 
view. Thereupon the Whig committees began to 
quarantine the Tory, to confine him to his house and 
yard. His word of honor that he would not injure 
the Whig cause in any manner gave him in some 
cases greater freedom, but a breath of suspicion 
sufficed to get him immured in prison walls, where 
his companions were debtors, thieves, and mur- 

When quarantine and the parole failed, the Whigs 
resorted to a plan of sending them to other states 
where loyalism was not so common, and where, as 
strangers, the loyalists' influence was diminished. 
At the approach of the British, hundreds of loyalists 
were thus hurried off ''to the back country," where 

^ Van Tyne, Loyalists, 226, and Apps.; Hunt, Provincial Com' 
mittees of Safety, 29^ et seq. 

1779] WHIGS AND TORIES 261' 

they could give no aid to the king's cause.* Tories 
living near military posts or passes were driven 
away, lest they carry information to the enemy. 
This process caused much real suffering, which was 
unavoidable in the nature of the case. Whole loyal 
districts were at times ''rooted out," that those 
''abominable pests of society" might be prevented 
from mischief.^ "Not to crush these serpents 
before their rattles are grown," wrote General Lee, 
"would be ruinous." 

During their enforced journeys to exile, the loyalists 
asserted that they were treated with great cruelty, 
even driven like herds of cattle to distant provinces. 
The patriots declare that they used every kindness. 
The difficulties of travel in that day, the uncertain 
temper and character of the Whig agents, and the 
stress of weather seem to have been the chief evils. 
Of course the "Tories" were jeered and hooted by 
the Whig mobs in the towns through which they 
passed, but of deliberate cruelty there seems little 

When the political exiles reached their destination 
the more influential and dangerous were confined 
in jails, not w4th the common prisoners, but by 
themselves, receiving reasonable care for the pres- 
ervation of their health. The milder class of exiles 
did much as they liked. Their greatest trouble was 
in getting lodgings, for none wished to house a 

' See Conn., Md., Va., and Pa. Records, passim. 
'Van Tyne, Loyalists, 223, 224. 


*'Tory," and their friendlessness and want of means 
often caused them suffering.* 

Not satisfied with the results of the system of 
exile to other districts, the Whigs began ere long 
to banish their Tory enemies — to send them out 
of America, forbidden to return. During the war 
eight of the thirteen states formally banished cer- 
tain prominent Tories either conditionally or tin- 
conditionally. North Carolina and Massachusetts 
began this formal banishment in the spring of 
1777. In the latter state a perfect system of 
proscribing and banishing Tories was devised. 
Each town chose an investigator who prepared for 
the selectmen a list of enemies to the patriot cause. 
The proscribed persons were tried, and, when con- 
victed, were sent on board a guard-ship, and trans- 
ported to foreign lands at their own expense. Their 
real estate was not to be sold, and the threat of 
death without benefit of clergy hung over any who 
should return. Later the legislature made out a 
list of two hundred and sixty persons, chiefly of the 
well-to-do refugees then within the British lines,^ 
and declared them banished forever. 

The other prescriptive laws gained the same end 
by different methods, and in the five states where 
none were passed the end was attained either by 
another sort of legal attack or by *'a good and 
wholesome law of tar and feathers." The story of 

^ See especially Thomas Vernon's Diary (R. I. Hist. Tracts, 
No. 13). * Van Tyne, Loyalists, 336. App. C. 


a flight from an angry mob, followed by weeks of 
skulking in the woods and swamps, and at last 
reaching the British camp exhausted and penniless, 
is painfully frequent in the records of the loyalists. 

The banished men went to England, to the West 
Indies, and the Bahamas. Many went to Canada, 
but the greater number, reflecting that most re- 
bellions in the past had failed, awaited in New 
York, or some other American city of refuge, the 
"speedy revival of civil authority." For the most 
part they were in great want. As early as the 
summer of 1778 Sir Henry Clinton wrote that 
nothing distressed him so much as the applications 
he hourly received from great numbers of refugees 
who crowded to New York from every corner of 
America. Many were reduced from affluence to the 
utmost penury.^ They usually found friends, how- 
ever, for the refugees from the several provinces had 
formed societies to look after the interests of fellow- 
loyalists. Many were permitted to till the lands 
of the Whigs who had fled. Loyal charity boards 
were organized, and many ways were contrived to 
eke out the government's scanty provision. Fines, 
lotteries, and entertainments took money from the 
soldiers for the support of the refugees, and a 
"Board of Directors of the Associated Loyalists" 
superintended the distribution of these funds. 

While they tried to persuade themselves that 
there was not a " penumbra of a doubt how the game 
* gteygns, Facsimik^, No. i j?i. 


would end," they kept up courage by convivial 
discussions in the loyal taverns. They talked much 
of their "devotion to the king's sacred person," of 
*' George's wrath" and *' Britannia's rage." " Haugh- 
ty Spain" and ''aspiring France" were loudly 
threatened. "Old England's lion" was pledged in 
many a loyal cup. Whigs past and present were 
denounced. In Charles I . 's time they were ' ' regicides 
and republicans," in Cromwell's " levellers," and in 
the time of Charles II. Puritans, and now politicians 
who aimed to reduce all men to a state of nature. 

Across the Atlantic the refugees fared little better 
than in New York. The " aimy of New-Englanders 
in London" found that city "a sad lick -penny." 
They "could not breathe the vital air without great 
expense." No word or aid came to them from their 
American friends, no more than if "they were in 
the region of the moon." They seemed to have 
come to England " only to suffer hunger and naked- 
ness in the comfortless mansions of the wretched." 
Their very loyalty was little respected. To the 
lower classes they were only "damned American 
rebels." * Their nimibers were so great that one 
declared that there would be scarcely a village in 
England without some American dust in it by the 
time they were all at rest. 

The British government employed as many as 
possible, yet the provision for the temporary sup- 
port of those unemployed amounted, before the end 
^ Curwen's Journal, 61, 102, 154. 


of the war, to over ;£4o,ooo yearly.* The relief, 
too, was often injudiciously distributed. Interest, 
influence, and a sounding title, or mere presump- 
tion and boldness, secured aid, while character, 
merit, and real losses went uncompensated. There 
was much discontent, and many, like Curwen, 
confessed how truly American they were after all. 
'' For my native country I feel a filial fondness; her 
follies I lament, her misfortunes I pity, and to be re- 
stored to her embraces is the warmest of my desires.'* ^ 
All hope of restoration in their old homes was 
taken from the loyalists long before the war was 
ended. Early in 1777, laws were passed in every 
state except South Carolina and Georgia attainting 
"divers traitors," and defining as a traitor one who 
adhered to the king of Great Britain.^ To accept a 
commission from the king, to enlist in his army, or 
persuade others to do so, brought upon the person 
convicted a death penalty and the forfeiture of all 
his property. The famous Pennsylvania "Black 
List" contained four hundred and ninety names of 
persons attainted of high- treason, most of whom 
had gone off with the British when they evacuated 
Philadelphia. The larger number never returned, 
a few were pardoned or proved their innocence, but 
several were convicted and executed.'' In New 

^ Transcript of Loyalist Papers, ' * Old Claims for Temporary Sup- 
port " (MS. in Lenox Library). ^ Curwen' s Journal, 253. 

3 Van Tyne, Loyalists, chap. xii. and App. 

^The Black List (Philadelphia, 1802); Pa. Archives, VII., 


York over one thousand were tried and sen- 
tenced, some six hundred being released on 

Armed bands of rangers scoured the country in 
every direction in search of "traitors," bringing 
their victims to special committees for trial. In 
general, the states which were the seats of active 
war made the most rigorous application of the trea- 
son laws. Washington and other patriot leaders 
condemned the treason trials. *' By the same rule 
that we try them," he wrote, "may not the enemy 
try any natural-born subject of Great Britain taken 
in arms in our service?" Prisoners of war they 
might be, but not traitors held for the gallows.^ 
The actual ntmiber of executions, however, was 
very small compared with the great number attaint- 
ed or tried and found guilty. 

Not only were the refugees forever exiled if at- 
tainted with treason, but they had no property with 
which to resume the old life, even if permitted to 
return unmolested to their former dwelling-places. 
Every vestige of their possessions had been taken 
from them, at first by a nibbling system of fines 
and special taxation, and later by the *' all-devour- 
ing rage for confiscation." Fines for evading the 
militia, for the hire of substitutes, and fines for 
their misdeeds; fines for refugee members of the 
family, and fines for every manifestation of loyalty 

* Flick, Loyalism in New York, chap. vi. 
'Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VI., 341. 


rapidly ate up the loyalists' substance.* In New 
York and South Carolina they had to make good all 
robberies committed in their county.^ Double and 
treble taxes made neutrality expensive, or com- 
pelled absentees to pay an unequal share of the war 

From fining and taxing loyal property the Whigs 
at last turned to confiscation. The patriot had a 
covetous eye on the loyalists' property from the 
first. An interested benevolence had tried to protect 
the loyalists' estates from private plunderers, but 
the property was only saved to enrich the coffers of 
the state. The idea gained ground that the con- 
fiscation of loyalists' estates would provide the sin- 
ews of war. Paine urged it, and some states began 
the work even before the resolution of Congress, late 
in 1777,* recommending that the states confiscate 
and sell the loyalists' property and invest the pro- 
ceeds in continental loan certificates. Thereafter the 
plan was popular, and in time all the states seized upon 
loyalist property for the uses of the commonwealth. 

In spite of the great opportunities for corruption, 
which were improved, great sums came into the 
state treasuries from the sale of forfeited lands. 
In New York alone over $3,600,000 worth of prop- 
erty was acquired by the state,* although lands in 

* Van Tyne, Loyalists, App. 

' Laws of New York, October 15, 1779. 

' Journals of Congress, November 27, 1777. 

* Flick, Loyalism in New York, 159. 


New York City, Long Island, and Staten Island 
practically escaped confiscation, because that ter- 
ritory was in British power until 1783, when the 
zeal^or confiscation abated. The important and 
lasting result of confiscation, however, in New 
York and elsewhere was that Targe manors and 
estates were cut up into small lots and sold to the 
common people, thus levelling, equalizing, and 
making more democratic the whole social struct- 
ure. This result, and the actual elimination, by 
banishment, of many thousands of the most con- 
servative Americans, must have hastened by many 
years the triumph of democracy. It is not unlikely 
that the early errors of the republic in finance, di- 
plomacy, and politics might have been in part cor- 
rected by the conservative element exiled or long 
deprived of political and social influence by unre- 
mitting intolerance. 



WHILE the democracy was gaming power by 
banishing the aristocracy and parcelling its 
great estates among the small land-owners, events 
were taking place in the West which would secure 
the future of the democracy in the United States. 
When the Revolution began, the westward move- 
ment had already made its influence felt, and the 
frontier had done its part in letting the revolutionary 
forces loose. Population had been flowing for some 
time from the seaboard to the lands beyond the 
"fall line" — the point on the rivers flowing into the 
Atlantic above which boats from the "tide-water'* 
region could not go. 

The vacant back-lands tempted men from the 
settled regions,^ where the rich planters had en- 
grossed the available lands and set up a kind of 
landed aristocracy. In the new lands on the upper 
courses of the rivers the large plantation could not 
flourish, because the valleys were narrow, suited 
only to small farms, and the lack of water commimi- 
* F. J. Turner, in Am. Hist. Review, L, 72. 


cation with the sea prevented the transportation 
of products to rich markets/ Men Hved upon the 
diversified products of the small farms, and no 
man was much richer than his fellows. Economic 
equality begot social equality, and political equality 
and democracy followed. 

The people of the back country had a strong in- 
fluence upon the Revolution by their aid in democ- 
ratizing the new state constitutions, and giving a 
more democratic flavor to the whole movement ; but 
of equal importance with this reaction upon the 
conservative seaboard was the movement they had 
already begun towards seizing and holding the vast 
region to the west of the Alleghanies. Between 
those mountains and the Mississippi River was an 
immense imbroken wilderness, more extensive than 
the settled domain of any civilized nation of that 
age. To get undisputed possession of it, England 
fought the French and Indian war, but in that 
very act she aroused forces that were to take it 
from her. To meet the expenses of defending the 
acquired territories, she taxed the colonies without 
their consent; she had aggravated the coast colo- 
nies by annexing to Quebec the region northwest of 
the Ohio, and by employing their aid in winning 
the western region she had taught them to fight 
and given them trained leaders for their military 

England's own hold on the western country was 
* Semple, American Hist, and its Geographical Conditions, 62. 


1763] THE NEW WEST 271 

very slight. Garrisons or mere trading-posts in a 
few French towns, Natchez and Kaskaskia on the 
Mississippi, Vincennes on the Wabash, and in De- 
troit, represented her actual possession. Certain 
of the rebellious states claimed the region on the 
strength of their ancient charters, and England 
could only assert her treaty rights from France. 
If the war of independence succeeded, the West 
would evidently pass into the hands of the actual 
possessor at the time of making the treaty of 

The westward migration of the colonists had 
already begun to determine this outcome. With 
the progress of the eighteenth century the West 
opened up more and more to the invading colonists. 
The trail of the deer and the bison to the salt-lick 
became the trail of the hunter, the path of the fur- 
trader, and the road of the immigrant. The Scotch- 
Irish and the Germans of Pennsylvania, following 
the southern trend of the valleys between the Blue 
Ridge and the Alleghanies, settled the Shenandoah 
Valley and the Piedmont region of the Carolinas.* 
German settlers entered the Mohawk Valley in 
New York.^ By 1763 the advance had passed the 
divide, and on the upper waters of the Yadkin 
and French Broad were settlements that seemed 
to have passed beyond British control. The king 
thereupon forbade by proclamation all settlement 

* Turner, in Am. Hist. Assoc, Report, 1893, p. 202. 
' Griff ]S, Sir Win. Johnson, 6. 

VOL. IX. — 19 


beyond the sources of rivers falling into the At- 

Between that time and the Revolution, however, 
the British government was on the whole not un- 
favorable to western settlement imder certain reg- 
ulations. It received favorably a scheme to set 
up a colonial government north of the Ohio — the 
so-called Illinois colony — though the plan failed be- 
cause of changes in the ministry.^ The favorable 
attitude of the government to new colonies was 
shown after 1768, when the Six Nations ceded at 
Fort Stanwix their title to the lands between the 
Ohio and the Tennessee.^ The Lords Commissioners 
of Trade and Plantations recommended in 1773 the 
grant of a tract, comprising nearly the present West 
Virginia and an adjacent part of Kentucky, to be- 
come a colony called Vandalia.^ Only the formal- 
ities of transfer remained when rebellion in America 
stopped the grant. Matters had gone far enough, 
however, to show England's plan to govern the 
West through great proprietary companies. 

Whatever England's plan, there was no stopping 
the westward movement. The rapid extension of 
unlawful settlement beyond the mountains, before 
the war, in spite of British efforts to prevent it, 

* A nnual Register, VI . , 211. 

2. Alden, New Governments West of the Alleghanies, 47 ; Franklin, 
Works (Sparks's ed.), IV., 233-241. 

3 N. Y. Docs. Rel. to Col. Hist., VIII., 136. 

* Franklin, Works (Bigelow's ed.), X., 367. 

1773] THE NEW WEST 273 

makes it certain that the westward movement would 
have continued/ gathering momentum with the 
years, had there been no Revolution and had there 
been endless laws to prevent it. The temptation 
to escape from the rented lands of the old provinces 
to the free lands bordering the *' Western Waters" 
was too strong. Hardly had the treaty of Fort 
Stanwix been made, in 1768, before Daniel Boone 
sought ''the country of Kentucke," and James 
Robertson, with his neighbors, leaving North Caro- 
lina, where they were dissatisfied with the govern- 
ment controlled by the merchants on the coast,^ 
began the settlement of the lands on the Watauga, 
now in Tennessee. The region of Tennessee and Ken- 
tucky had no permanent Indian settlements because 
the Indians had reserved it as a hunting-grotmd. 
Thus it became a line of least resistance, while its 
fertility, pleasing climate, and numerous salt springs 
offered temptations to the home-seeking pioneer.^ 

Though the Watauga settlers were within North 
Carolina's territory, no civil organization was given 
them from that colony, and, since they were placed 
as nearly in the condition of ''primitive man" as 
possible, the Presbyterian political philosophy of 
these Scotch-Irishmen impelled them to a social 
compact, an " association" to regulate their society/ 

* Alden, New Governments West of the Alleghanies, 47. 
2iV. C. Col. Records, VIII., 652-654. 

' Semple, American Hist, and its Geographical Conditions, 65. 

* Turner, in Am. Hist. Review, I., 76, 


Like the Pilgrim Fathers they were without formal 
laws and political institutions, and they made them. 
Their association was a temporary expedient, how- 
ever, for on appeal their representatives were ad- 
mitted, in 1776, into North Carolina's legislature, 
and their settlement organized as a county. Their 
compact idea did not die, however, but in 1780, 
when Robertson led his fellows farther west to 
Nashborough, delegates from the forts and stations 
thereabouts drew up similar documents to regulate 
their disputes.^ 

While Tennessee was passing into the white man's 
control, Daniel Boone and others were seeking to 
settle in the Kentucky region. They were delayed 
by the outbreak of a fierce Indian war, resulting 
partly from the delays in giving them the purchase- 
money for their lands, for what was to have been the 
Vandalia colony. They had observed the conflict 
between Pennsylvania and Virginia for the posses- 
sion of the "Gateway of the West," at Pittsburg,^ 
and, hoping for sympathy from Pennsylvania, they 
were on the verge of an outbreak, when in 1774 
some lawless whites murdered the family of Logan, 
chief of the Mingos. As fast as this news spread the 
Indians swept to their revenge, driving back the 
invading Virginia settlers. **Dunmore's War," as 
it was called, because it seemed to have been pre- 
cipitated by orders from Dunmore, the governor 

* Roosevelt, Winning of the West, II., 342-348. 
^Ibid., I., 195-198. 

1776] THE NEW WEST 275 

of Virginia, was ended October 10, 1774, at Point 
Pleasant, on the Great Kanawha, when the Shawnee 
chief Cornstalk was defeated by Andrew Lewis/ 
Thereupon, the Indians nominally surrendered all 
of their lands south of the Ohio, thus opening 
Kentucky for the inrush of settlers. 

In the following year, a company, organized 
under the leadership of Judge Richard Henderson, 
purchased from the Cherokees their lands between 
the Ohio, Kentucky, and Cumberland rivers, to be 
made the proprietary colony of Transylvania. 
James Harrod had already begun a settlement, and 
Boone, who had been sent ahead to blaze a trail 
when the success of the treaty seemed assured, 
began a fort to which Henderson's company came. 
To the men of the several settlements Henderson 
broached the matter of political organization.^ 
** Members or delegates [should be elected] from 
every place by free choice of Individuals, they first 
. . . entering into writings solemnly binding them- 
selves to obey and carry into Execution such Laws 
as representatives should from time to time make, 
concurred with by a Majority of the Proprietors 
present in the Country." The plan was liked, and 
the delegates assembled under a great elm in the 
open air to make their laws and their compact with 

* Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I,, 208, 209; Force, Am. 
Archives, 4th series, I., 1016, 1017. 

* Henderson's Journal, quoted by Turner, in Am. Hist. Re- 
view, I., 79. 


the proprietors. "All power is originally in the 
people," Henderson told them, and laws "derive 
force and efficiency from our mutual consent.'* 
There in the wilderness western democracy was 
taking its first political lesson. 

The convention never met again, for Henderson's 
company was denounced by both Virginia and 
North Carolina, Governor Martin calling them 
" Land Py rates." The proprietors sent a represent- 
ative to Congress, hoping for support there — the 
first instance of the effort of the western settlers to 
free themselves from the control of the coast leg- 
islatures by getting the support of Congress in the 
organization of independent western states.^ In 
this case the proprietors were the moving force; 
but later the democracy of the frontier sought like 
means to be freed from its political yoke-fellow, the 
aristocracy of the seaboard, in the hope to gain 
lighter taxation, self-government, and the owner- 
ship of the lands which they had won from the 
wilderness. Congress gave the proprietors no aid, 
Virginia annulled their title, and the settlers were 
left to their own devices. They sent representatives 
to the Virginia convention,^ and in December, 1776, 
the assembly of that state organized the newly 
settled region into a Virginia county with the 
boundaries of the present Kentucky.^ 

^N. C. Col. Records, X., 324; Filson Chih, Publications, No. 
16, p. 224. ^ Ibid., 241. 

3 Alden, New Governments West of the Alleghanies, 61. 

1776] THE NEW WEST 277 

Meanwhile the settlements in Tennessee nad grown 
so rapidly as to offend the Cherokees by their en- 
croachments. This most powerful of the southern 
Indian tribes early took sides with the British and 
ravaged the southern frontier, invading Georgia and 
South Carolina in company with bands of Tories/ 
The Indians had not objected to the invasions of 
French traders, but these English colonists with 
their land-hunger and their permanent settlements 
for agricultural purposes aroused the redmen's 
hatred. Their attacks were repulsed, however, and 
their country devastated by Carolina troops, while 
James Robertson and John Sevier defeated their 
raid on the Watauga settlement in 1776,^ and forced 
them to cede most of their claims between the Ten- 
nessee and the Cumberland. The Kentucky settle- 
ment was also secured by this victory.^ 

Kentucky and Tennessee thus became a great 
wedge driven into the Indian regions. Other bodies 
of western settlers were soon eager for organization. 
After the Declaration of Independence there was 
talk of new states in this region. About that time 
the people of the region about the head-waters of 
the Ohio, incorporated by Virginia as West Augus- 
ta County, but claimed by Pennsylvania, proposed 
either to petition Congress to settle the dispute or 

^ Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I., 273-275. 
^N. C.Col. Records, X., 657-661; Force, Am. Archives, 5th 
series, I., 610, 974. 

2 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I., 306. 


to "colonize" themselves and send a delegate to Con- 
gress '' to represent us as the fourteenth Link in the 
American Chain." The petition was sent, urging, as 
to the conflicting claims which troubled them,^ that 
they were reluctant to " submit to the being annexed 
to or Subjugated by . . . any one of those Provinces, 
much less being partitioned or parcelled out among 
them." They declared — and it was the demand of 
democracy for local government — that they could 
never be "rich, flourishing, happy, or free" while 
depending for government upon a ruling body four 
or five hundred miles distant. They asked to be 
made independent as " Westsylvania," "the four- 
teenth Province of the American Confederacy," and 
empowered to make laws best adapted to their 
"local Circumstances." The whole matter, how- 
ever, involved too much interference with the sov- 
ereignty of a state, and Congress would have noth- 
ing to do with it. 

Though this and other attempts at western state- 
making during the Revolution came to naught, yet 
the propositions themselves have great significance. 
Petitions and memorials from the men of the West 
frequently urged Congress to exalt its powers, and 
take to itself the control over the western lands that 
had been the Crown's before independence. The 
West wished to strengthen the central government. 
The settlers, coming from many states, diluted the 
loyalty of the region to any one of the claimant 

* Alden, New Governments West of the Alleghames, 66, 

1777] THE NEW WEST 279 

states. Hence they appealed for support, not to any 
one of the jealous eastern governments, but to the 
Congress, as if it were a recognized national authority.^ 

It is doubtful, however, whether they were willing 
to give it national authority any longer than while 
it gave them the independent statehood which they 
had many reasons to desire. In the confused po- 
litical state of the West, the settlers could not 
be sure to which state they owed allegiance. Land 
titles were doubtful, justice and military defence 
were tardy or failed altogether, and taxes were hate- 
ful where money was scarce and the pioneer fought 
his own battles unaided by the state. ^ 

The frontier was not to be held without constant 
struggle, and though after the victory on the Great 
Kanawha, in 1774, there was comparative quiet in 
the early days of the Revolution, yet from both the 
north and the south of the great wedge that had been 
driven into the Indian country danger was soon 
lowering. From beyond the Ohio there came, early 
in 1777, raid after raid of the Indians, incited by 
Lieutenant-Governor Henry Hamilton, who com- 
manded the British post at Detroit. Directed by 
his superiors, he had gathered large numbers of the 
northwest Indians, joining in their war-songs and 
dances and inducing them to relentless war upon 
the Americans.^ Since he proportioned their re- 
wards to the ntmiber of scalps they brought back, 

^ Turner, in Am. Hist. Review, I., 268. ' Ibtd., I., 267. 

^Michigan Pioneer Collectious, IX., 346, 347, 482, 


he earned the epithet of the ''hair-buying general." 
The terrors of the savage invasion soon drove the 
heroic frontiersmen from their rude cabins and log 
forts, imtil, by the close of the year 1777, but a few 
hundred remained in all Kentucky/ 

The greatest of these defenders of the frontier was 
George Rogers Clark, a daring hunter, skilled also in 
the use of chain and compass, and a born leader of 
such men as were now about him. To him came 
the idea of putting an end to these invasions by 
carrying the war into the enemy's country. Clark 
first learned from spies that the British were care- 
less and the French Creoles indifferent; they had 
transferred their allegiance to King George when 
France ceded the West to England, but in their 
backwoods hamlets they lived an easy life, asking 
only to be let alone socially, and caring little 
who was in political control. The fur - trading 
Briton was more welcome, however, than the 
land-winning American, and the French villages 
had become centres of British influence, w^here the 
French Canadians with their Indian wives helped 
to excite the savages against the American settle- 
ments.^ Clark saw the necessity of controlling these 
rallying-points for war-parties, and against the log 
forts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, on the Mississippi, 
and Vincennes, on the Wabash, he resolved to go, 
hoping to overcome the small Creole garrisons and 

^ Roosevelt, Winning of the West, II., chap, i.; Thwaites, How 
G. R. Clark Won the Northwest^ 10, ^ Ibid., 17. 

1778] THE NEW WEST 281 

win these shifty allies of the British to the Amer- 
ican cause. 

Clark went to Virginia in the midsummer of 1777 
and proposed to the governor, Patrick Henry, his 
scheme for capturing the British posts in the North- 
west. The governor and others were taken with 
the plan, and Clark in secret instructions was given 
authority to enlist three hundred and fifty Virgin- 
ians.^ After meeting many difficulties due to the 
suspicions of Pennsylvania's sympathizers on the 
border, he succeeded, by May of 1778, in getting 
together one hundred and fifty volimteers. It was 
a rough lot, not free from outlaws from the East — 
" true patriots who left their country for their coun- 
try's good " — ^but with a fair majority of brave-heart- 
ed home-defenders whose sincerity could be counted 
upon. All had confidence in Clark, and he was 
perhaps the only man on the frontier who could 
have made the expedition a success.^ 

Clark set out. May 12 1778, floating down from 
Redstone, in Pennsylvania, with a small fleet of 
flat-boats to Pittsburg, and down the Ohio to the 
"Falls." His goal was Kaskaskia, the principal 
British post in the Illinois country. Dropping down 
to the mouth of the Cumberland, he left the river 
and struck across country some one hundred and 
twenty miles, arriving before Kaskaskia on July 4. 

' English, Conquest of the Northwest, I., 98. 
^Illinois Historical Collections, I., 193, 194; Thwaites, How G, 
R. Clark Won the Northwest. 


As they advanced for the attack they found the 
fort door open, and, rushing in, seized the astounded 
commander and overawed the garrison. The French 
Creoles of the town were at first in distress with 
fright, but became reassured and took oath of loy- 
alty to the United States, finding comfort, perhaps, 
in the news which Clark brought them of the alliance 
between the United States and France. The priest 
of the village, when he learned that his religion 
would be respected, gave great aid to Clark in getting 
volunteers, and went himself to Vincennes, persuad- 
ing the inhabitants there to hoist the American flag.* 

Clark's influence soon spread far and wide over 
the Indians as well as the whites, and after a few 
side expeditions to insure his control, he settled 
down for the winter at Kaskaskia. His position 
was difficult — much like that of a wild-beast tamer 
among brutes that are ever on the alert for any 
sign of weakness ; but Clark kept a stout heart and 
remained the master.^ The Spanish commandant, 
controlling upper Louisiana at St. Louis, showed 
Clark the utmost friendship, which had a very 
favorable effect upon the Indians by increasing their 
respect for the '' Big Knife Chief." 

General Hamilton, at Detroit, heard of all this, 
and, soliciting the aid of the Michigan and Wisconsin 

* G. R. Clark's sketch, in Ohio Valley Hist. Series, No. 3, pp. 
25-36; Illinois Historical Collections, I., 199-204. 

' G. R. Clark's sketch, in Ohio Valley Hist. Series, No. 3, pp. 

1779] THE NEW WEST 283 

Indians, organized a war-party and recaptured Vin- 
cennes.* In the spring he planned to retake Kas- 
kaskia and then to destroy the Kentucky stations 
southward, thus wiping out all American settlement 
west of the Alleghanies. Clark was not the man 
passively to await his fate, however, and when he 
received definite news of the garrison at Vincennes, 
he determined to become the attacking party him- 
self. He enlisted some of "the Principal Young 
Men of the Illinois," and with one hundred and 
seventy hardy American and French backwoodsmen 
set out in February across country for Vincennes, 
two hundred and thirty miles away. It was a 
fearful march over bogs and flooded lowlands.^ 
Game was scarce and the men had no tents. As they 
neared Vincennes they were obliged to wade the 
*' drowned lands," often neck deep in icy water, 
worn with fatigue and hunger, camping on a marshy 
hillock in drizzling rain to shiver without food or 
fire through the night, and then wallowing on, 
breaking the thin ice on the streams, and keeping 
up courage by song and threat and jibe.^ 

At last the town was seen. Clark craftily march- 
ed his men back and forth just within the edge of 
the wood to give the impression of great numbers. 
He then cowed the Creole inhabitants with a bold 

^ Michigan Pioneer Collections, IX., 489 et seq. 

2 Moore, Northwest Under Three Flags, 232; Illinois Historical 
Collections, I., 246-253. 

3 Bowman's Journal, in Ohio Valley Hist. Series, No. 3, p. 99 
et seq. 


letter, which kept them neutral while he attacked 
the fort/ Hamilton was soon compelled to ask for a 
truce and then to surrender, thus yielding one of the 
most important British posts in the Northwest. 
Clark would have pushed on to capture Detroit also, 
but want of sufficient reinforcements compelled him 
to be content with holding Vincennes, Cahokia, and 

These posts, however, were sufficient to insure the 
American hold upon the Northwest, until, in the peace 
negotiations of 1782, the military prowess of Clark 
was followed up by the diplomatic triumph of Jay. 
Although no mention of Clark's work is found among 
the papers of the diplomats, yet the fact of posses- 
sion must have had weight. Few events have had 
a vaster influence upon the future of the nation than 
this expedition of Clark's. Not only did he secure 
the western gate of the republic, but he gained those 
western lands the ownership of which greatly ad- 
vanced the idea of union, since there was a posses- 
sion in which all of the states were interested. 

The struggle for the West was not closed, however, 
for England's hopes were not yet extinguished, and 
Spain still had a covetous eye upon the domain 
between the Alleghanies and the '' Father of Waters." 
When Spain was at last induced by France (1779) 
to imite in the war against England, she was allured 
by the hope of regaining Gibraltar and acquiring 

^ Bowman's Journal, in Ohio Valley Hist. Series, No. 3, p. 68; 
lUinpis Historical Collections, I., 255. 

1782] THE NEW WEST 285 

the region drained by the eastern branches of the 
Mississippi. She united with France solely for her 
own interest, refusing to acknowledge America's 
independence,^ or make a treaty with her except on 
the condition of her yielding to Spain the possession 
of the east bank of the Mississippi and the exclusive 
navigation of the river. 

Upon declaring war against England, in May, 
1779, Spain authorized her American governors to 
seize Natchez and the other British posts on the 
Mississippi. She did not mean to aid America in 
gaining the western country, but to wrest it from 
Great Britain for herself. Lord George Germaine 
foresaw the Spanish plan, and sent orders to General 
Haldimand, in Canada, to anticipate the hostilities 
of Spain by sending a force to reduce the Spanish 
posts on the Mississippi and to attack New Orleans.^ 
Thus a line of communication might be maintained 
between Canada and the British military posts in 
Florida. General Campbell, who was stationed at 
Pensacola, was to come with his fleet and army up 
the Mississippi to Natchez, there to meet the Indian 
bands sent from the north, and with them drive the 
Spaniards from the lower Mississippi.^ Clark mean- 
while was to be *' amused" by an invasion of Ken- 

But for the energy and promptness of Galvez, 

* Doniol, Participation de la France, III., 754. 
^Canadian Archives, 1885, p. 276. 
^Michigan Pioneer Collections, IX., 544. 


the Spanish governor of New Orleans, success might 
have crowned this last concerted effort of the 
British to retain the West. Taking the offensive as 
soon as he learned that Spain and England were at 
war, he prepared to capture the British Mississippi 
posts. One after another he took (September, 
1779) the forts at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and 
Natchez, and then, in the spring of 1780, he took 
Mobile and Pensacola.^ He thus kept General 
Campbell too busy to give any aid to the party 
coming down from the north, and that expedition 
went to pieces before St. Louis, because of the un- 
willingness of the savages to attack a place that 
had been forewarned. The other force that was to 
create the diversion in Kentucky captured a few 
stations, and then retreated to Detroit just in time 
to escape Clark, who was in pursuit with a force 
which he had raised in Kentucky.^ 

Spain had rendered the Americans a great service 
by enabling Clark to hold what he had already 
conquered from the British, but she acted with no 
friendly intent, as her later movements were to 
show. Though she did not dare, while an ally of 
France, to attack the territory in Kentucky and 
Tennessee, where the American settlers were actual- 
ly in possession, yet she did send an expedition, 
January, 1781, to capture St. Joseph, a Michigan 

* Martin, Htst. of Louisiana, 227-229. 

' Michigan Pioneer Collections, IX., 558, 559 ; Winsor, Westward 
Movement, 175. 

i78i] THE NEW WEST 287 

fort in British hands.* The daring exploit was 
successful, and upon the temporary possession of 
this single post Spain was suspected of trying to 
build up a claim to the western territory north as 
well as south of the Ohio.^ 

The territory which Clark and his ill-disposed 
Spanish allies were conquering for the United States 
had both a beneficent and a malign effect upon the 
American union. The kindlier effect was the final 
one. At first, before the possession of the North- 
west was even assured, there were bitter quarrels 
over its ownership. Six of the states could claim 
no western lands, but the rest claimed the lands 
stretching away to the Mississippi. South of the 
Ohio there was little dispute, but to the north 
there was endless conflict. Massachusetts and Con- 
necticut claimed strips extending through the 
Northwest, and over them, like blankets, extended 
New York's claims, based on her protectorate over 
the Iroquois domain,^ and Virginia's stronger claim, 
based on her early charter and now reinforced by 
the conquests of her commissioned officer George 
Rogers Clark. 

The quarrel became still more complex when the 
Articles of Confederation were submitted for the 
approval of the states, and the landless states 

* Mason, "March of the Spaniards across Illinois," in Magazine 
of Am. Hist., May, 1886. 

'Franklin, Writings (Sparks's ed.), IX., 206, 386; Wharton, 
Dip. Corresp., V., 363, 364. 

' Regents' Report on the Boundaries of New York, 65. 

VOL. IX. — 20 


hesitated to agree to them because they feared the 
overweening influence which the great western do- 
main would give to the states controlling it. New 
Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, 
and New Jersey all hesitated, but Maryland alone 
held out until New York gave up her claims and 
the other states showed a willingness to do likewise. 
All land in the Northwest was finally ceded to Con- 
gress, and the members of the confederation felt a 
stronger bond of union because of their common 
interest in common property. Unity in the rev- 
olutionary period had been greatly aided by the 
previous colonial co-operation in regulating the 
frontier, and now to common interest was added 
common ownership. 



WHEN France annoimced her alliance with 
America, in the spring of 1778, she expected, 
of course, the resentment of Great Britain and a 
consequent war, which, indeed, was contemplated 
in the treaty of alliance. France and America were 
to render each other mutual aid, and America's 
independence was to be the condition of peace. 
If the United States should seize the Bermuda 
Islands or the British possessions in North America, 
France would make no claim to them ; but she was 
in turn to have the right to capture and hold any- 
British islands in or near the Gulf of Mexico, and 
her existing holdings in America were guaranteed/ 
As events proved, the temptations thus offered her 
in the West Indies were to have an evil influence 
upon her effectiveness as an ally. 

The French alliance brought to America that 
which was most needed — a sea power which would 
counterbalance that of England. *' A decisive naval 
superiority is," Washington asserted, ''the basis 

^ Treaties and Conventions (1889), 308. 


upon which every hope of success must ultimately 
depend." * The American armies could do nothing 
final so long as it was possible for British ships to 
bring unlimited supplies to the British armies, or, 
Hke guardian genii, pick them up and carry them 
off oversea when they were too hard pressed by the 
Americans on land. Congress had very early tried 
to provide for a navy,^ but time and money were 
both wanting, and meanwhile England reaped the 
advantage of her undisputed sea power. The ocean 
was abandoned to her, except for a cruising warfare 
which was chiefly carried on by American privateers. 
It was mainly in commerce - destroying that 
America figured at that time upon the seas. Frank- 
lin wrote from France, in February of 1777 : "That 
which makes the greatest impression in our favor 
here is the prodigious success of our armed ships 
and privateers. The damage we have done their 
West India trade has been estimated .... by the 
merchants of London at £1,800,000 sterling, which 
has raised insurance to twenty - eight per cent., 
higher than at any time in the last war with France 
and Spain." Indeed, he thought the delay of the 
French government in making an alliance was 
not without its advantages.^ *'In the mean time 
America has the whole harvest of prizes made upon 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), Memorandum (dated Jtily 
15, 1780), 345; Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 346. 
"^Journals of Congress, October 13 and 30, and December 14, 


^ Wharton » Dip. Corresp., II., 262, 311, 



Ft.Jolmson 4^ 








British commerce." America, however, not only 
preyed but was preyed upon. For the six hundred 
vessels that her cruisers took before the French 
alliance she paid nine hundred vessels that fell prey 
to British cruisers. The New England coasting 
trade and fisheries were nearly ruined, and with the 
growth of privateering a spirit of gambling took 
the place of sober business ventures.^ The '* militia 
of the sea " showed in actual warfare many of the 
limitations which Washington discovered in the 
land militia, and it had little effect upon the general 
issue of the war. 

With high hopes, therefore, Washington learned 
of the French alliance, for he might now expect aid 
from a large and disciplined navy. The British, 
too, saw the new possibilities, and, after evacuating 
Philadelphia because of the fear that they might 
lose control of the Delaware,^ they concentrated at 
New York to repel a possible French attack by sea. 
A French fleet of six frigates and twelve ships of the 
line, under Count D'Estaing, had in fact left Toulon 
early enough to have intercepted the British squad- 
ron, but the French voyage had been very slow, 
and the fleet arrived, July 7, off the Delaware 
capes, fully ten days after Lord Howe had sailed 
out on his way to New York. 

Disappointed there, D'Estaing sailed to Sandy 
Hook, where, in an interview with Washington's aids, 

^ Weeden, Econ. and Soc. Hist, of New England, II., chap. xx. 
* Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 359. 


he planned to attack the weaker British fleet in the 
harbor. The opportunity of entrapping the British 
army in New York was unique. D'Estaing, how- 
ever, was discouraged by his pilots about crossing 
the harbor bar with his largest ships, and, evident- 
ly with Washington's approval, changed his plan,* 
and turned away from his almost certain prey to 
attempt the capture of Newport, where the British 
had kept a strong force since its seizure in Decem- 
ber, 1776. 

All New England was aroused by this prospect 
of capturing the British at Newport. The militia 
turned out in such numbers that, with the one thou- 
sand five hundred regular troops under Greene and 
Lafayette, sent by Washington, a force of nine 
thousand men was gathered under Sullivan,^ which, 
with D'Estaing's fleet and four thousand French 
regulars, might reasonably hope to capture the 
British garrison of six thousand men. After the 
French arrived, however, and all was ready for 
the assault, the somewhat strengthened British 
fleet under Lord Howe arrived from New York. 
D'Estaing re-embarked his troops and stood out 
to sea. For two days the hostile fleets manoeuvred 
for advantage, when a terrific gale dispersed them. 
Nine days later, D'Estaing rallied again off New- 
port, but in spite of every entreaty he sailed to 
Boston for repairs, taking his four thousand men 

^ Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VI., 9-12. 
' Ibid., 28-37; Greene, Life of Greene, II., 1 13-128. 


and leaving the discouraged militia to disband in 
disgust.^ The whole enterprise was thus ruined and 
the distrust of the French alliance was augmented. 
In Boston and Charleston, racial hate was shown 
in riots and murderous attacks of Americans upon 
the French sailors. 

This lack of confidence was unreasonably in- 
creased when D'Estaing, having refitted his ships, 
sailed away for the West Indies. His activity there 
was not without benefit to the American cause, for 
the British were obliged to weaken their force at 
New York in order to cope with the dangers threat- 
ening their West Indian possessions. Nevertheless, 
while D'Estaing was trying to conquer Santa Lucia, 
St. Vincent, and Grenada,^ the English, thus left in 
control of the seas along the American coast, took 
the opportunity to shift the war to the southern states. 
Rebellion seemed to have a weaker hold there than 
in New England,^ and, since the extreme south was 
a thousand miles distant from Washington's main 
army, little relief could be sent thither. 

After the repulse of the British at Charleston in 
1776, the south had been left alone except for fron- 
tier skirmishing between Florida and Georgia, where 
loyalist refugees aided the British regulars stationed 
in Florida by making incursions and carrying off 

^ Greene, Life of Greene, II., 125-141; Doniol, Participation de 
la France, III., 337-354, 371-394- 

2 Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 365-375. 

■ McCrady, South Carolina in the Revolution, 284. 


the negroes from Georgia plantations. When Gen- 
eral Robert Howe, who was in charge of the patriot 
southern army, attempted to carry the war into 
Florida, he was forced by camp diseases to retreat 
to Savannah, where he was at once attacked by 
Colonel Campbell with three thousand men, who 
had just arrived in a British fleet from New York. 
Howe was compelled to surrender Savannah, De- 
cember 29, 1778, and when General Prevost, coming 
up from Florida, captured a patriot garrison at 
Sunbury, and Campbell took Augusta, the state of 
Georgia was fairly reported as conquered/ 

General Lincoln now superseded General Howe 
in command of the southern department. While he 
was trying to strengthen his army. General Moul- 
trie repulsed a British attack on Port Royal, and 
Lincoln felt warranted in assuming the offensive. 
He sent one thousand five hundred men against 
Augusta, but they were disastrously defeated at 
Briar Creek (March 3, 1779), and thereupon the 
British established Sir James Wright in his former 
office as royal governor.^ Lincoln, still hoping to re- 
trieve the state, advanced upon Augusta himself, 
leaving Moultrie to defend the lower Savannah, but 
General Prevost, with a greatly superior force, drove 
Moultrie from the river, and marched upon Charles- 
ton. His force consisted chiefly of American refu- 
gees, whose bitter hatred of their rebellious coun- 

^ Stevens, Facsimiles, Nos. 1246, 1247, 1251. 
"^ Ihid., Nos. 1270, 1274. 


trymen showed itself in wanton devastation of the 
rich region through which they passed.* 

Arriving before Charleston, Prevost demanded its 
surrender, proposing that South Carolina should 
preserve neutrality during the rest of the war.^ 
There was much division of sentiment within the 
city, for South Carolina seemed to have been aban- 
doned by Congress; but the overtures were at last 
rejected, and Prevost, fearing the result of an as- 
sault, and alarmed by the approach of Lincoln, re- 
treated into Georgia. He left a detachment at 
Beaufort, however, which gave him a foothold in 
South Carolina, and his threat had forced Lincoln to 
give up his plans, so that the advantage of the cam- 
paign was with the British. 

John Rutledge, the patriot governor of South 
Carolina, now appealed by letter to D'Estaing,^ who 
had not made a brilliant success of his West Indian 
campaign, urging him to aid the southern army in 
driving the British from Savannah. Though under 
orders to return to Europe, the French admiral 
sailed for the coast of Georgia, taking the English 
at Savannah quite unawares (September i, 1779). 
Again, however, he dallied too long with prepara- 
tions, until the danger of autumnal gales caused 
him to urge upon General Lincoln an assault, which, 

* Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2016; McCrady, South Carolina in 
the Revolution, 392-395. 

'Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2016; McCrady, chap, xvii, 
» PorjioJ, Participation de la France, IV., 2^6, 


valiant and desperate as it was, met with defeat. 
. Count Pulaski was slain and the French admiral 
severely wounded/ Angry recriminations followed 
between the Americans and their French allies, and 
then D'Estaing sailed away to Europe and Lincoln 
retreated to South Carolina. 

Meanwhile, at the north, Sir Henry Clinton hac* 
been kept aware of Washington's vigilance by two 
famous exploits, which had little military signifi- 
cance, but which were not without a moral effect. 
Anthony Wayne, in a midnight attack (July 16, 
i779)» captured Stony Point, a fort held by the 
British dangerously near West Point, the chief de- 
fence of the upper Hudson. The fort was immedi- 
ately evacuated, but the daring attack, together 
with another assault led by Major Henry Lee upon 
Paulus Hook, a fort on the present site of Jersey City, 
took away Clinton's sense of security and disar- 
ranged his plans. ^ He did nothing more until he 
learned that the French fleet had left the American 
coast. In order to send a large force south, he had 
withdrawn the British garrison at Newport, because 
he dared not weaken the defences of New York 
which Washington constantly threatened with a 
cordon extending from Danbury, in Connecticut, to 
Elizabethtown, in New Jersey. Late in December, 
1779, Clinton and Comwallis sailed with seven thou- 

^ Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 374, 375; Georgia Hist. Soc, 
Collections, V., pt. i.; Stevens, Facsimiles, No. 2010. 
'Johnston, The Storming of Stony Point, 85, 94, 95. 


sand six hundred men to capture Charleston, South 

For the defence of t}ie threatened state, General 
Lincoln had two thousand five hundred regulars 
and about five hundred effective militia,^ even after 
Washington had sent him every reinforcement he 
dared. He was soon besieged by Clinton's force, 
strengthened by Prevost's Georgia army and by 
some three thousand men under Lord Rawdon 
ordered from New York for this attack. Such an 
overwhelming force might have warned Lincoln to 
abandon the city and save his army, but he made 
every preparation for defence, and then, when the 
city was encircled by the British army ready for 
an assault, he surrendered. Two thousand five 
hundred Continental soldiers became prisoners of 
war,^ while the militia and all male citizens were 
paroled. The whole state was soon overrun and 
brought into military subjection. It was a terrible 
disaster. In England America was looked upon as 
overwhelmed at last. 

There were, indeed, strong reasons for believing 
that the Carolinas and Georgia were finally cut off 
from the American confederacy. Ill feeling was 
rife among former southern patriots, due to the 

_^ FoTtescne, British Army, III., 306; Beatson's Memoirs, VI., 

2 Winsor, Narr. and Crit. Hist., VI., 525 ; McCrady, South Caro- 
lina in the Revolution, lyy^-ijSo, pp. 507-510. 

^ Hough, Charleston 198; Almon, Remembrancer, X., pt. ii., 


strong suspicion that Congress was ready to desert 
them, and in truth there was a party in Congress 
ready to purchase peace by the sacrifice of all the 
region south of Virginia/ There was great wrath 
over the inadequate aid that Congress had sent to 
the south. Numbers of the inhabitants of Charles- 
ton came to the British authorities asking to be re- 
garded as loyal subjects of the king. Two himdred 
citizens, chiefly Scotch merchants, drew up an ad- 
dress congratulating Clinton upon his success.^ 

The majority of the original leaders of the rev- 
olutionary party in South Carolina were dead or in 
prison, the party was broken up, and John Rut ledge 
alone kept alive in his own person a spark of the 
revolutionary power. ^ There never had been any 
real unanimity in the state. Among its leading 
families, English or Huguenot, hardly one was not 
divided between the patriot and the loyal cause. 
In the middle classes there were many discordant 
elements — Quakers and Germans who were apa- 
thetic, Scotch-Irish farmers who were Whigs, and 
recent Scotch emigrants who were Tories. The loyal 
elements had been held down before this successful 
invasion of Clinton, but now they came crying for 
revenge. As if to whet them on, Clinton issued a 
most injudicious proclamation. 

Up to the time of issuing this fatal order all had 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VII., 92, 93. 

' Almon, Remembrancer, X., pt. ii., 83. 

' McCrady, South Carolina in the Revolution, ijy^-iySo, 534. 


seemed favorable to the re-establishment of the 
royal government; the proffered terms of peace 
had been generally accepted by the people. Now, 
in effect, the people of the state were required 
to take an active part in setting up the fallen royal 
government.^ Every man must declare his sup- 
port or hostility to the British cause. Many who 
would gladly have remained neutral now chose 
fighting with their American friends to taking 
active part with their British enemies. They were 
outraged, too, by the British rapacity for plunder, 
and the loyalist thirst for revenge. British detach- 
ments sent through the country to enroll a loyal 
militia began to meet resistance. Though the 
patriots could make no organized opposition to the 
British forces, yet, in small bands issuing from the 
woods and the moimtain valleys, they made des- 
perate attacks upon the British and their loyalist 
allies. Their most famous leaders in this partisan 
warfare were Andrew Pickens, Francis Marion, and 
Thomas Sumter.^ '* But for Simiter and Marion,'* 
Comwallis declared, " South Carolina would be at 
peace." Although there were no Continental troops 
or officers in the state, the whole frontier was soon 
ablaze. The people themselves had arisen and 
attacked the British outposts. 

* Ramsay, Revolution in South Carolina, II., 114; Almon, Re- 
membrancer, X., pt. ii., 82. 

^ For accounts of the partisan leaders, McCrady, South Caro* 
Una in the Revolution, lyj^-iySo, pliap. xxvi. 


Congress did not, however, abandon South Caro- 
lina. Baron de Kalb had, in fact, been sent south 
with some two thousand men, before the fall of 
Charleston ; and at Hillsborough, in the northwestern 
part of North Carolina, was awaiting the co-opera- 
tion of the state militia, when the news of Lincoln's 
disaster reached the north, and the people demanded 
that Gates, "the hero of Saratoga" — then in retire- 
ment — be sent to retrieve the south. Congress 
yielded to the demand, though Washington wished 
to send Greene, and Gates hurried to Hillsborough 
to take command of an army that needed every^ 
thing, but most of all a judicious leader, which 
Gates was not. 

The British could hardly be driven from the 
chief strategic points on the coast — Charleston, 
Beaufort, and Savannah — but the inland post at 
Camden, where centred all of the principal roads 
from the north, might be taken, and the British 
thus compelled to yield the interior. Gates, how- 
ever, chose the least advisable road for his advance, 
failed to attack Lord Rawdon at the favorable 
moment, detached some of his best troops at the 
last hour, and finally, in the most unfavorable 
time, when his troops were exhausted and ill from 
the effects of the badly managed march, he ' was 
driven, August 16, 1780, near Camden, to attack 
the well-disciplined British forces under Rawdon, 
and Cornwallis, who had arrived with his staff. The 
American army was not only disastrously but 


ignominiously defeated/ Baron de Kalb was killed, 
and Gates's flight to Hillsborough without his army 
became a theme for ridicule throughout America. 
The loyalists especially rejoiced, for the forces under 
Tarleton and Rawdon, which had won the victory, 
were chiefly loyal troops.^ 

Tarleton followed up this success by overtak- 
ing and capturing Sumter's force. The cloud that 
settled over the American cause was lifted but 
slightly by two victories won by the Whig leaders 
Williams and Marion. Gates could get together no 
adequate army at Hillsborough, Washington could 
spare no more troops, and yet Cornwallis was pre- 
paring for the conquest of North Carolina, with no 
one there to oppose him. 

Before the end of the year 1780 there came one 
cheering victory. When entering upon the con- 
quest of North Carolina, Cornwallis detached Colo- 
nel Ferguson, next to Tarleton the best of his 
partisan officers, to enter the South Carolina high- 
lands, enlist such Tories as he might find, and rejoin 
the main army, which would meanwhile have ad- 
vanced to Charlotte, North Carolina.^ As Ferguson 
with a thousand Tories and a few British infantry 
penetrated the hills of the back country he was sur- 
roimded by ever-growing bands of frontiersmen, 

^ Fortescue, British Army, III., 316-319; Almon, Remem- 
brancer, X., pt. ii., 267-269. 

2 Van Tyne, Loyalists, 186; Tarleton, Campaigns of 1780, etc., 
139, 148-151. 

^ Almon, Remembrancer, XL, pt, i., 146. 


partly from settlements west of the Alleghany 
Moimtains, and after endeavoring to escape he 
made a stand on the top of King's Mountain. From 
that position, with a characteristic Tory sentiment, 
he challenged "all the rebels outside of hell'* to 
dislodge him. It seemed as if most of them were 
there when the attack began, October 7, from behind 
every tree on the mountain-side. No human heart 
could stand the steady, ruthless advance of those 
Indian hunters, and when at last Ferguson himself 
was killed a white flag was raised, and over seven 
hundred Tories surrendered as prisoners of war, 
while the rest lay dead or wounded on the field. ^ 

The effect of the defeat was to compel Comwallis 
to retreat from North into South Carolina to await 
reinforcements; but, since none could foresee the 
good-fortune that was in store for the American 
arms in the coming year, the brilliant victory of the 
backwoodsmen did little to raise the depressed 
spirits of the Americans. Never were American 
affairs blacker than during the year which preceded 
the surrender of Cornwallis. Even Washington had 
"almost ceased to hope." The Articles of Con- 
federation had not yet been accepted by all the 
states, and the power of Congress was declining, 
as Washington said, "too fast for . . . considera- 
tion and respect."^ None looked to Congress, 
but to the respective states. " I see one head 

^ For full details, see Draper, King's Mountain and its Heroes. 
'Washington, Works (Sparks's ed.), VII., 58, 68. 


gradually changing into thirteen," wrote Washing- 
ton, " I see one army branching into thirteen." At 
the best there was one weak administration and 
thirteen ill-natin-ed critics. 

The wretched financial expedients to which Con- 
gress had naturally been driven grew worse with time. 
From the issues of paper money, unsuccessful do- 
mestic loans and precarious foreign loans. Congress 
turned to requisitions upon the states — at first for 
money to be raised by state taxes, and then for 
specified supplies.^ The loan offices set up through- 
out the colonies had yielded little at first, but after 
the loans from France were used to pay the interest 
on the home debt the subscriptions increased — 
especially in Continental currency, of which men 
thus rid themselves. The foreign loans were the 
salvation of the cause ; but Congress nearly put an 
end to the supply of golden eggs by drawing with- 
out warning upon their ambassadors and authorizing 
loans far in excess of available sources. During the 
war there came from that source over $7,000,000 in 
real money, which had as much purchasing power as 
the $63,000,000 in paper money loaned by Americans.^ 

As for the state requisitions, they proved a 
slender resource. The local taxing systems were 
not suited to such a crisis, and the states only 

^Journals of Congress, January 14, 1777, et seq., November 
4, 1780. 

^Sumner, Financier of the Am. Rev., I., 173, 288; Dewey, 
Financial History of the United States, 46, 47. 


issued paper money of their own, which helped ruin 
that of Congress. When they noticed the requisi- 
tions at all they usually paid in paper. Why tax 
when the printer could turn out bushels of money ? 
Such money would stay in the coimtry, too, for 
none would carry it away. Failing to get the need- 
ful aid in this manner, Congress, November 4, 1780, 
asked the states to give their quotas in flour, hay, 
and pork, a system of "donations" which, because 
of poor organization in the assessment and inefficient 
subsistence officers, resulted in vast waste and bitter 
dissatisfaction. To save his starving army, Wash- 
ington was obliged to levy on the surrounding coun- 
try, and pay in commissary certificates.* 

As the issues of paper money continued to de- 
preciate, Congress issued increased amounts, mean- 
while urging the states to come to the rescue. In a 
letter to the American people, in 1779, it urged their 
responsibility, and asked the states to make the Con- 
tinental paper legal tender, a request with which 
they readily complied. At last, in March, 1780, 
bankruptcy was confessed by the passage of the 
"forty-to-one" act — a plan to redeem outstanding 
Continental bills at one-fortieth of their face value.^ 
This only aided their depreciation, and, amid a finan- 
cial "reign of terror," with laws restricting prices 
and legal -tender laws, the irritation of the people 
knew no bounds. Congress tried to fix the rate of 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), VI., 281. 
^Journals of Congress, March 18, 1780. 


depreciation, but in vain. Prices took on a ridicu- 
lous aspect. The impecunious Samuel Adams could 
wear a suit of clothes and a hat which cost him two 
thousand dollars — in paper money. The tea on 
which he had refused to pay a threepenny tax per 
pound now cost him ninety dollars per pound. 
By the spring of 1781, credit was prostrate and the 
paper money had ceased to pass, except as bought 
and sold for speculation — five hundred to one thou- 
sand dollars selling for one of gold. 

In Washington's army the men — alternately with- 
out bread or meat — ''were half -starved, imperfectly 
clothed, riotous, and robbing the country people . . . 
from sheer necessity." Desertion was continual, 
from one hundred to two hundred men a month go- 
ing over to the enemy, ^ The terms of half the army 
would expire at the end of the year, and then the 
mere ''shadow of an army" would remain. Enor- 
mous bounties were of no avail, for the states offered 
more, and the offer was at best a mere pittance 
when translated into its real money value. Only a 
miracle, thought Washington, could keep America 
from the humiliation of seeing her cause upheld 
solely by foreign arms.^ Throughout the land there 
was a weariness of war, a desire for peace at any 

In 1780, while the country was in this state of de- 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VI., 441; N. Y, Docs. 
Rel. to Col. Hist., VIII., 800. 

2 Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VII., 159. 


jection, the startling news of Benedict Arnold's 
treason spread through America. The traitor's dis- 
tinguished services up to the time that he was 
wounded at Saratoga have been related. Congress 
gave them little recognition, and Arnold felt the neg- 
lect sorely. In 1778, when the British evacuated 
Philadelphia, Arnold was placed in command of 
that city, because his wound kept him from active 
campaigning. He met there and married Margaret 
Shippen, a beautiful woman from one of the leading 
Tory families of the city. Thenceforth he mingled 
in Tory society and made enemies among the Whigs. 
He lived at great expense, speculated, and was 
charged with corrupt dealings in his office. A com- 
mittee of Congress examined and exonerated him, 
but Congress ordered him court-martialled, a tedious 
affair that kept Arnold in suspense for a year.^ The 
grave charges were disproved, but for some petty 
irregularities a reprimand was ordered, which Wash- 
ington turned into a eulogy. 

Congress, meanwhile, had refused to allow some 
claims connected with the Canadian campaign, and 
Arnold was ruined financially. He thereupon en- 
tered into correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, 
and ultimately determined to betray the Ameri- 
can cause — to become, as he hoped, the Monk of 
the American Revolution. Washington had perfect 

^ Proceedings of a General Court-Martial for the Trial of Major^ 
General Arnold; Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VI., 514- 


confidence in him, and when Arnold asked for the 
command of the post at West Point he received it 
at once, though it was the key to the whole American 
position.* To get the details of the surrender which 
Arnold now promised, Clinton sent Major Andre in 
the sloop Vulture to West Point. Though techni- 
cally he did not come as a spy, yet when the meet- 
ing took place an unfortunate chain of circumstances 
caused him to enter the American lines with Arnold, 
and, since he knew that Arnold was a traitor, the 
object of his visit was foreign to flags of truce. 
When, therefore, he was captured while returning 
by land with Arnold's passport, he was condemned 
by court-martial to be hanged as a spy. 

The papers found upon Andre's person were sent 
to Washington, but through a misunderstanding a 
note was also sent to Arnold which apprised him of 
the capture, and enabled him to escape to the Vult- 
ure, which was still waiting on the Hudson for Andre. 
Washington was greatly shocked by the discovery, 
exclaiming, "Whom can we trust now?" ^ That 
was, indeed, the worst feature of Arnold's treason. 
Much might be said for his right to change his mind 
when the purpose of the war had changed. When 
America was no longer fighting for self - taxation 
and constitutional liberty, but for independence, 
and that, too, in a hateful alliance with France, he 

^Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VII., 139. 
' For much material on this subject, see ibid., VII., App., 
No. vii. 


might, with many others, have deserted the cause; 
but nothing could gloss over his violation of the 
faith which Washington had put in him. Because 
of that his character is, as Franklin said, *'on the 
gibbet, and will hang there in chains for all ages." 




WHILE American affairs were apparently be- 
coming more hopeless, a coalition was forming 
against England, destined finally to break her spirit 
and compel her recognition of American indepen- 
dence. For some time it had been plain that the 
future of America was in the hands of foreign dip- 
lomats, and must be secured in European courts 
rather than upon American battle-fields/ Ver- 
gennes had no sooner made his treaty with Amer- 
ica, in the spring of 1778, than he again set himself 
to secure the long-sought alliance with Spain, whose 
naval aid he felt to be absolutely essential to a suc- 
cessful issue of a war with England. 

Though France and Spain were united by the 
Family Compact and by the fact of their common 
adherence to the Catholic faith, yet the interests 
of the two monarchies clashed in matters of com- 
mercial policy. Spain upheld the old monopoly 

^ See B. F. Stevens to Frelinghuysen, in Senate Misc. Docs., 
48 Cong., I Sess., No. 84. 


system, while France, almost deprived of colonies, 
could get a fair share of the world's trade only by 
the overthrow of that system. Nevertheless, Spain, 
as well as France, hated England, who had de- 
stroyed her sea power, robbed her of Jamaica, the 
Floridas, and Minorca, and on Spain's very shores 
had established herself at Gibraltar. But what 
England had done independent America seemed 
to threaten to do. Even if the new states should 
not in the future actually seize upon Spain's Ameri- 
can colonies, their example of successful revolt would 
form a dangerous precedent. 

The one great temptation for Spain was the hope 
of regaining Gibraltar, and she first sought a cession 
of that from England as the price of peace. When 
that manoeuvre failed, the Spanish minister, who 
had been greatly angered by France's treaty with 
America, turned again to Vergennes, and offered 
alliance on terms that would almost ruin America's 
future* — asking for Florida, the lands along the 
Mississippi, the exclusive navigation of that river, and 
even a peace in which the British should be left in 
control of Rhode Island and New York, thus sowing 
seeds of future strife between England and America. 

Though Vergennes would not listen to terms that 
would violate his pledged word with America, yet 
he did not hesitate, while trying to coax Spain into 
an alliance, to insinuate that France had guaranteed 
independence only to the thirteen rebellious states 
* Poniol, Participation de la France, IIJ., 293. 

1779] END OF THE WAR 311 

and not to the unrebellious parts of America/ 
He said, and no doubt frankly, that he had no 
desire to see the United States mistress of America. 
He hoped for several confederations in America — 
not one. Canada must remain with England, and 
if Spain could get Florida, America would not be 
formidable,^ especially, Vergennes hinted, if Spain 
would seize this opportunity to conquer the lands 
to the east of the Mississippi. In fact, Vergennes 
went so far as to urge upon the American Congress 
the desirability of placating Spain by letting her 
have the western lands, warning them that France 
would not prolong the war a single day to procure 
them for America.^ He found, too, that the repre- 
sentatives of the smaller states — Rhode Island, New 
Jersey, and Delaware — who had nothing to lose, were 
quite willing to limit the United States to the Alle- 
ghanies. There was strong opposition to these com- 
pliant views,"* however, and though Vergennes con- 
tinued to present the Spanish idea to Congress for 
some time after he had secured Spain's alliance, yet he 
was careful not to antagonize America by insistence. 
The wished-for treaty between France and Spain 
was concluded April 12, 1779, with the aim of invad- 

* Vergennes, October 30, 1778, in Doniol, Participation de la 
France, III., 561. 

^ Doniol, Participation de la France, III., 236, 561; Circourt, 
Histoire de la France et de I'Amerique, III., 283, 284. 

' Gerard to Vergennes, January 28, 1779, in Circourt, Histoire 
de la France et de I'Amerique, III., 264-266. 

*lbid.; Doniol, Pfirticipation de la France^ IV., 62Q. 


ing England, and recovering Minorca and the 
Floridas/ It bound both powers not to make 
peace until Spain regained Gibraltar. To America 
this agreement seemed inconsistent with its con- 
vention with France, in which neither could make 
peace without the other's consent, for America was 
not bound to help conquer Gibraltar, if England 
should grant American independence before that 
conquest was accomplished. There was much in- 
dignation in the United States, especially in New 
England, which was also offended by the French 
and Spanish agreement to share the Newfoimdland 
fisheries, to the exclusion of other nations, if they 
could conquer that island. 

Congress fumed for a while; but as American 
affairs grew more desperate they became so eager 
for a treaty with Spain that, February 15, 1781, 
when the war had the gloomiest aspect, they in- 
structed Jay, who had been sent to negotiate with 
Spain, to agree to give up the free navigation of 
the Mississippi below the thirty-first degree of lati- 
tude, and later even suggested giving up the back 
country.^ Jay never revealed these instructions, 
and Spain fortunately never entered the French and 
American alliance — a fact which made necessary 
a modification of the terms that America had made 
with France, much to America's advantage. 

^ Doniol, Participation de la France, III., 803. 

2 Secret Journals of Congress. Foreign Affairs. February i^, 

1781, June 15, 1781. 

1781] END OF THE WAR 313 

Though America's friends were not increased by 
the alHance between France and Spain, yet Eng- 
land's enemies were multiplied and new dangers 
were looming up. America went ''suitoring" after 
alliances everywhere, sending Ralph Izard to Tus- 
cany, Francis Dana to Russia, Arthur Lee to Prus- 
sia, William Lee to Vienna, and Henry Laurens to 
the Netherlands, and, though they accomplished 
little, England in her own way was making enemies 
of all the courted powers. Her arbitrary exercise 
of the right of searching vessels on the seas was 
exciting the wrath of the neutral nations, although 
she was acting quite within the limits set by the 
recognized international law of the time. 

At the opening of the American Revolution, no 
authority on maritime law demanded more protec- 
tion to neutral ships than that provided by the 
mediaeval sea code, the Consolato del Mare, which 
recognized a belligerent's right to seize his enemy's 
goods but not the neutral vessel upon which they 
were carried.^ England as a great naval power was 
disposed to hold to the established rule ; but since she 
could damage nations which had many merchant- 
men and few war - ships more than they could 
damage her, they now began to assert that neutral 
ships protected all goods on board — ''free ships 
make free goods," as the phrase ran. The humani- 
tarian spirit of the time accorded with this principle ;^ 

* Travers Twiss, Law of Nations, 146, 147. 

* Fiske, American Revolution, II., 142. 


the interests of peace were recognized as paramount 
and permanent ; the area and influence of war must 
be Hmited. The benevolent despots Frederick the 
Great and Catharine II. became interested in this 
as well as the commercial phase of the issue. Since 
England was not only desirous but hopeful of an 
alliance with Russia, the attitude of Catharine had 
great weight. In 1781, England went so far as to 
offer Catharine the island of Minorca, which with 
Gibraltar had made Great Britain mistress of the 

Against this consummation worked Frederick the 
Great, who had been deserted by England in 1761, 
and who had never forgiven her "duplicity.'* 
Though he hated England he did not wish to become 
her open enemy. For the Americans he had no 
sentimental friendship. He was indifferent to their 
independence. He permitted them to buy arms in 
Prussia, but they only made a bargain greatly to 
their loss. He refused to allow the German mer- 
cenaries to cross his dominions, but not from any 
sympathy with America. When Lee sought to open 
Prussian ports to American vessels, Frederick mere- 
ly instructed his minister to put Lee off "with com- 
pliments." A little good advice and information 
were drawn from the king, but his greatest aid was 
indirect and due to coincident interests.^ This 
came about through his relations with France and 
Russia. The European situation was such that he 

' Haworth, in Am. Hist. Review, IX., 460, 461, 469, 477. 

1781] END OF THE WAR 315 

needed French friendship. He encouraged France's 
desire to humble England by assuring her of his 
neutrality.* In Russia he opposed the English, and 
his friendship with Count Panin, to whom Catharine 
largely left her foreign affairs, gave him great in- 
fluence. He as much as any one brought Catharine 
to head an armed neutrality, which was formed in 
1780 to enforce the doctrine that free ships make 
free goods. 

In 1778, France, upon opening the war with Eng- 
land, had tried to protect her own commerce by 
adopting the new doctrine — "free ships make free 
goods." Catharine was asked to head a league to 
protect neutral commerce, but she delayed, and 
neutral commerce with France suffered greatly, 
especially that of the Netherlands. Finally, when 
some French ships were actually seized and con- 
demned by a British court of admiralty, France 
appealed to Russia. Fortunately for her, Russia 
about the same time was outraged, too, by the 
seizure of two Russian vessels by Spanish cruisers. 
Catharine at once took measures to protect her 
commerce against the belligerents. Here Frederick 
interceded with France to influence Spain to apolo- 
gize, which it did, and war between Russia and 
Spain was averted.^ 

When Catharine proclaimed her new maritime 
code (March 8, 1780) Frederick influenced France 

* Circourt, Histoire de la France et de VAmirique, III., 98-128, 
*Jbid., 476, 


and Spain to acquiesce. Denmark and Sweden ar- 
ranged with Russia for mutual protection of their 
commerce, and their agreement was known as the 
" Armed NeutraHty." ^ One after another the Neth- 
erlands, Prussia, the German Empire, and three 
minor powers entered the league, which the United 
States also accepted. Though England's navy was 
stronger than the combined navies, yet her desire 
to conciliate Russia made her wary of giving of- 

The enforcement of the new code lessened Eng- 
land's power to damage her enemies, chiefly because 
of the protection afforded to the great carrying 
trade of the Netherlands, but England soon found a 
way to obviate that evil. If she could not attack 
the Dutch while they were neutral, she would make 
them vulnerable as open enemies. It would not 
do to declare war upon them because they had en- 
tered the league of the Armed Neutrality, but, a 
well-developed quarrel already existed, so that a 
very slight incident made an excuse for war. 

The quarrel began in treaty obligations violated 
by both powers, Holland refusing to aid England — 
as she was bound by treaty — in her war with France 
and Spain, and England refusing to allow Holland's 
commerce with the enemy, as had been provided by 
the treaty of 1674.^ This ill feeling was aggravated 
by the conduct of Holland in sheltering Paul Jones, 

^ Annual Register, XXIII., 347-354 (1780). 
2 Jenkinson, Collection of Treaties, I., ipi, 202, 

i78o] END OF THE WAR 317 

the most daring and energetic of America's seamen. 
Jones had been the first to raise an American 
flag on an American man-of-war. In 1777 he was 
given command of the ship Ranger,^ and in the 
spring of 1778, off the Irish coast, took the Drake, 
a British man-of-war, making also a rather piratical 
attack upon the town of Whitehaven on the English 
coast. He took his capture into a French port, and 
began a most tedious negotiation with the French 
government to secure aid that would place under 
his command a squadron strong enough to do the 
enemy some serious damage. 

At last, in 1779, he was given five vessels, of which 
the flag-ship was the famous Bon Homme Richard. 
With the most motley and insubordinate crews and 
commanders, Jones set out and spent the summer 
cruising on the British coast, terrifying the inhabi- 
tants, and taking many prizes. Late in September, 
near the mouth of the Humber, he intercepted a 
British merchant fleet convoyed by the men-of- 
war the Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough. 
After a desperate fight of nearly three hours the 
Richard overcame the Serapis. Both ships were 
nearly destroyed. The Scarborough was taken by 
the Pallas, though the rest of Jones's fleet had given 
no assistance.^ The American commander now 
sailed with his prizes into a Holland port, and the 

* Btiell, Paul Jones, T., 48; Journals of Congress, June 14, 

^Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., III., 309, 376, 380. 


Dutch were so sympathetic with the American cause 
that, in spite of the British demand that he be given 
up, he was sheltered ten weeks before being ordered 
to leave. Jones escaped to France, but the British 
government declared that Holland's conduct in this 
and other matters abrogated all treaties between, 
the two countries/ 

At this juncture the British captured Henry 
Laurens, making his way on an American packet 
to Holland to negotiate a loan. Among his pa- 
pers was a draft of a projected Dutch- American 
treaty, signed by an American agent and the chief 
magistrate of Amsterdam. The British demanded 
of the States-General the disavowal of the action of 
the magistrate and his ** exemplary punishment," as 
a violator of the law of nations. The disavowal was 
made, but the States-General could not constitution- 
ally punish the Amsterdam magistrate,^ and their 
failure gave the British government an excuse to 
declare war and withdraw its ambassador. Before 
he left, two hundred Dutch ships had been seized in 
British ports and on the high sea, with cargoes 
worth fifteen million florins. Though Holland's ac- 
cession to the Armed Neutrality was the real reason 
for England's making war upon her, and the Lau- 
rens affair only a pretext, yet when Holland asked 

* Wharton, Dip. Corresp. of Am. Rev., III., 396, ^g8; Annual 
Register (1780), 342-346. 

^ Ibid., 357-378; Hansard, Parliamentary Hist., XXI., 978, 
979; Jameson, in Am. Hist. Review, VIII., 697. 

1781] END OF THE WAR 319 

Russia's assistance Catharine preferred to believe 
in the British explanation of the cause of the war, 
and Russia remained neutral. 

England was now at war with America and the 
three greatest naval powers, after herself, in the 
world. A few months after the French and Spanish 
alliance was made (August, 1779), the fleets of the 
two nations entered the British channel, meeting 
little opposition and creating terror in England; 
but dissensions between the allies turned the whole 
affair into a gigantic fiasco. Spain, thereupon, bent 
all her efforts upon the blockade of Gibraltar, which 
was hard pressed, imtil it was relieved early in the 
following year by Sir George Rodney,^ whose services 
had just been restored to England by a French 
nobleman, who chivalrously paid his debts so that he 
dared return to his native land. At once he received 
a command with which he speedily relieved Gibral- 
tar, and thereupon sailed for the West Indies. He 
there attacked the French admiral, the Count de 
Gtdchen, and, though he failed to defeat him, yet he 
kept him from going to New York to aid Washington 
in its capture. In August, De Guichen, having failed 
to accomplish anything in alliance with the Spanish 
fleet which joined him, sailed for France, so alarm- 
ing Rodney for the safety of New York that he 
divided his fleet and went to Clinton's relief.* 

Rodney's fears were not groundless, for Lafayette, 

* Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 377, 403, 404. 

* Ibid., s8i, 382. 

VOL. IX. — 33 


who had returned to France in 1779, persuaded Ver- 
gennes to send over a French army to be placed 
under Washington's control,^ and in July, 1780, 
Admiral Ternay with ten war vessels and six thou- 
sand men, commanded by the Comte de Rocham- 
beau, arrived at Newport. More ships and men 
were to follow, but a British fleet blockaded them 
in the harbor of Brest. ^ At Newport, reinforce- 
ments from England under Admiral Graves en- 
abled the British to bottle up the French fleet 
in Narragansett Bay, preventing Rochambeau giv- 
ing any aid to Washington because he might have 
to succor the French fieet.^ For a year the French 
army was kept idle at Newport, creating more ill 
feeling against the French alliance, though it was 
destined to render a great service when the time 
was ripe. 

Rodney arrived in New York in September, 1780, 
and, not being needed there, returned to the West 
Indies (December 6). Late in January he received 
secret orders from the British government telling 
of the war with Holland, and directing him to 
seize the Dutch island, St. Eustatius, which through- 
out tlie American war had been the means of an 
enormous export of military supplies to the patriot 
armies and of naval supplies to the French and 
Spanish fleets in the West Indies/ Rodney de- 

* Tawer, Lafayette, II., 88-92. 

^Ibid., 124, 171. ^ Ibid., 170. 

* Jameson, in Am. Hist. Review, VIII., 687, 699. 

r/Si] END OF THE WAR 321 

Glared that the island had done England *'more 
harm than all the arms of her most potent enemies." ^ 
There was nothing to do but to appear before it 
and demand its surrender. The defence was mere- 
ly formal. Rodney had at his mercy spoil to the 
amount of ;£3,ooo,ooo sterling.^ Though it was, as 
its captor said, "the greatest emporium on earth," 
he meant to leave it ''a mere desert, and only 
known by report." The wholesale devastation 
excited the indignation of Europe, yet the actual 
result was that the sale of the goods supplied Eng- 
land's enemies at a cheaper rate than would have 
been possible otherwise. More than that, Rodney's 
delay, while disposing of his spoil, lost him oppor- 
tunities for important naval successes.^ While he 
delayed, Comte de Grasse, the French admiral, 
coming with a new fleet from France, escaped the 
British vigilance and joined the other French ships, 
a imion which made possible the French control of 
the sea a few months later at the siege of Yorktown.* 
As the number of England's enemies increased, so 
much of her military power was locked up in various 
parts of the world that the efficiency of the military 
force in America was greatly impaired. It was well 
for the cause of independence that this was true, for, 
besides the general dejection and apathy of the 

Mundy, Life and Correspondence of Rodney, II., 97. 
' Jameson, in Am. Hist. Review, VIII., 701. 
' Ibid., 702, 706. 

^Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 383; History of the Royal 
Navy, III., 481, 482, 


people, the American army was itself becoming 
mutinous. The soldiers believed that they had 
been deceived in the matter of the length of their 
enlistments/ and on January i, 1781, when the 
Pennsylvania recruiting agents arrived in the camp 
near New York, the soldiers of the Pennsylvania 
division broke into open mutiny, demanding back 
pay and a clearing up of the enlistment muddle. 
They determined to march to Philadelphia and get 
redress of Congress.^ General Wayne, who was in 
command of the Pennsylvania line, tried to control 
them, but in vain ; they marched to Princeton, where 
they were met by President Reed of their own state, 
and were offered terms honorable to both, which 
after some delay they accepted.^ Later, part of the 
New Jersey line also mutinied, and to prevent the 
spirit of insubordination infecting the whole army 
severe measures were taken and two of the mutineers 
executed/ By such measures the army was kept 
together and ready for the opportunity that was 

In the south, after the American victory at 
King's Moimtain, the partisan leaders renewed 
their activity. Gates, with a fragment of his former 
army, was enabled to advance from Hillsborough to 

* Hatch, Administration of the Revolutionary Army, 125-127. 
' Stills, Wayne, 240, 243. 

' See "Diary of the Revolt," in Pa. Archives, 2d series, XI., 

* Washington, H^r«/zM^5 (Sparks's ed), VIL, 380, 381; App 
No. X. 

1781] END OF THE WAR 323 

Charlotte, whence CornwalHs had retreated. Here 
the command of the patriot army was transferred to 
General Greene, as Washington had formerly de- 
sired/ Hither came Daniel Morgan, too, a most 
excusable Achilles, who had been sulking in his tent 
because of Congress's failure to recognize his really 
distinguished services. With Greene came Kos- 
ciuszko, and "Light Horse Harry" Lee, with his 
famous cavalry. These men together with William 
Washington,^ another distinguished cavalry leader, 
and the partisan leaders already in the field, were 
now to regain the south from the invader. 

Greene's army was too weak to try to oppose the 
advance of CornwalHs, who had been reinforced by 
Clinton,^ but by dividing his army he could annoy 
the enemy's flanks with constant raids by the par- 
tisan bands. Morgan was placed in command of 
the second division, and he so threatened Corn- 
walHs 's left that Tarleton with a thousand men was 
sent to drive him back. Morgan retreated until he 
reached the Broad River, and there, on the grazing 
groimds known as the Cowpens, he formed his lit- 
tle army with its back to the unfordable river, and 
(January 17, 1781) awaited Tarleton's impetuous 
attack. Though the Americans were slightly out- 
numbered, the brief engagement resulted in such a 
defeat for the British that only two hundred men 

* Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VII., 187, 257, 
'Graham, Morgan, 230-233; Greene, Greene, III., 112-117, 

• Fortescue, British Army, III., 359. 


out of their force of one thousand escaped/ and that 
loss crippled Comwallis to the end of his campaign. 
Morgan at once sought to elude Comwallis and 
rejoin Greene, who hurried across country to take 
the command himself. Comwallis, in his eagerness 
to overtake them, burned his supply train, and 
pursued the retreating army across the Catawba 
and the Yadkin, so close at times that pursuer and 
pursued seemed like a single army. At Guilford 
Court House Greene effected a union with the other 
half of his army, but, being still too weak for battle, 
he hastened on and crossed the Dan into Virginia. 
Comwallis thereupon proclaimed that North Caro- 
lina was conquered ; ^ but Greene returned, evading 
the British until he was reinforced, and then at Guil- 
ford Court House, March 15, 1781, gave Comwallis 
the battle which had become for him a necessity. It 
was a desperate struggle, and Greene retired with a 
loss of four hundred men, but Comwallis 's army was 
so reduced that nothing remained for him to do but 
hasten to the coast, at Wilmington, to get the aid 
of the British fleet. ^ The interior of North Carolina 
was given up, and Greene was left free to go to the 
aid of South Carolina, which was still controlled by 
Lord Rawdon. Though he was defeated at Hob* 
kirk's Hill (April 25, 1781), yet he broke Rawdon 's 

^ Huntington to Greene, Continental Congress Papers (MSS.), 
No. 15, p. 232; Graham, Morgan, 309; Tarleton, Campaign of 
1780, etc., 221-227, 255-258. 

^ Ibid., 261-274. ^Ibid., 311-338. 

1781] END OF THE WAR 325 

communications with the coast, and soon drove 
the British from all the back country of South 
Carolina. Before the end of the year only Savannah 
and Charleston remained in British hands. 

Cornwallis, at Wilmington, might have taken his 
troops by sea to Charleston, and thus have confronted 
Greene when he came into South Carolina, but he 
determined to leave Rawdon to his own resources, 
and to act upon a theory of his own that the South 
could not be conquered while Virginia was in Amer- 
ican hands.^ A small British army under Generals 
Phillips and Arnold was already in Virginia, con- 
fronted by a detachment under Lafayette, sent by 
Washington to capture Arnold. Cornwallis march- 
ed thither and effected a junction with Arnold, and 
then with five thousand men set out to capture La- 
fayette with some three thousand men, chiefly mili- 
tia. Lafayette, who was ''not strong enough even 
to be beaten," retreated into the back country until 
reinforcements made him so aggressive that Corn- 
wallis thought it wise to retreat to the coast. Lafay- 
ette was reinforced by Steuben, and pressed Corn- 
wallis closely until he fortified himself at Yorktown, 
when Lafayette, towards the end of July, settled 
down at Malvern Hill,^ sending word to Washington 
of the situation in Virginia. 

A few days later a letter came to Washington from 

* Fortescue, British Army, III., 377, 378. 
2 Tower, Lafayette, II., 378-380; Washington, Writings 
(Ford's ed.), IX., 336. 


the Count de Grasse, who had previously sent word 
that his fleet might safely leave the West Indies for 
a few months during the simimer. He now pro- 
posed joint operations in Virginia, promising to 
reach the Chesapeake in August.^ Washington, 
thus obliged to give up the attack on New York, at 
once planned to bring every available force to the 
aid of Lafayette. Rochambeau's French army 
from Newport joined Washington, and Clinton was 
led to believe that the siege of New York had begun 
in earnest.^ The allied armies, six thousand strong, 
marched past the city, however, and hurried on 
through Princeton, Trenton, and Philadelphia to 
the head of Chesapeake Bay, which they reached 
(September 5) just as De Grasse entered the bay 
with his fleet. The French fleet from Newport had 
already made the passage thither with the French 
siege-guns. Rodney, in the West Indies, had known 
of the departure of De Grasse, and had sent Hood 
to reinforce the British at New York. Hood looked 
in as he passed the Chesapeake, but hurried on to 
New York and apprised Admiral Graves of the men- 
acing French fleet. Graves at once sailed to the 
Chesapeake and attacked the French fleet,'' but after 
several days manoeuvring the French proved their 
superiority, and Comwallis was left at the mercy of 
his besiegers, who, with the arrival of Washington's 

* Washington, Writings (Ford's ed.), IX., 334. 
2 Boudinot, Boudinot, I., 229-233. 
' Mahan, Influence of Sea Power, 389. 

i78i] END OF THE WAR 327 

and Rochambeau's troops, numbered sixteen thou- 
sand men. After a desperate resistance Comwallis 
recognized the hopelessness of his position, and 
(October 19, 1781) the British army, over seven 
thousand strong, surrendered and became prisoners 
of war/ The French had at last rendered the ser- 
vice that had been so long delayed. There were 
more French regular troops at Yorktown than there 
were American. France had won her longed-for 
victory over her hereditary enemy, and America 
might now expect the recognition of her indepen- 
dence from the mother-country. 

As men looked back over the years of strife, they 
saw clearly that the chief reason why the American 
cause was not lost before France came to its aid was 
the personal leadership of Washington. If we seek 
to explain, it was not his great mind, for Franklin's 
was greater ; not his force, energy, or ingenuity, for 
Benedict Arnold surpassed him in these qualities; 
not his military experience, for Charles Lee's was 
far more extensive ; but it was the strength of char- 
acter which day by day won the love of his soldiers 
and the perfect confidence of his countrymen. The 
absence of a mean ambition, the one desire of serv- 
ing well his country and his fellow-men, the faithful- 
ness that could not be driven from its task through 
jealousy or resentment, these were the traits that 
gave him a unique and solitary place among the 
world's heroes. 

^Washington, Writings (Sparks's ed.), VIII., 530-536, 


The surrender of Comwallis came at the right 
time to produce a great political effect in England. 
The war had asstmied such tremendous proportions 
that accumulated disaster seemed to threaten the 
ruin of Great Britain. From India came news of 
Hyder Ali's temporary successes, and of the pres- 
ence of a strong French armament which demanded 
that England yield every claim except to Bengal. 
That Warren Hastings and Sir Eyre Coote would yet 
save the British Empire there, the politicians could 
not foresee. Spain had already driven the British 
forces from Florida, and in the spring of 1782 Mi- 
norca fell before her repeated assaults and Gibraltar 
was fearfully beset. De Grasse's successes during 
the winter in the West Indies left only Jamaica, 
Barbadoes, and Antigua in British hands. St. 
Eustatius, too, was recaptured, and it was not until 
the middle of April that Rodney regained England's 
naval supremacy by a famous victory near Marie- 
Galante.^ England had not a friend in Europe, 
and was beset at home by violent agitation in Ire- 
land, to which she w^as obliged to yield an inde- 
pendent Irish Parliament.^ Rodney's victory and 
the successful repulsion of the Spaniards from Gib- 
raltar, in the summer of 1782, came too late to save 
the North ministry. 

North was thrown into despair at the news of 
Yorktown, but the king still refused to acknowl- 

^ Annual Register, XXV., 252-257. 
' Two Centuries of Irish History, 91. 

1782] END OF THE WAR 329 

edge American independence. The personal rule of 
George III. was, however, near its end. Steadily the 
Whig minority increased on all important measures, 
while the government majority decreased and at 
last was lost altogether. As early as April, 1780, 
the House of Commons passed a resolution that 
''the influence of the crown has increased, is in- 
creasing, and ought to be diminished." A mo- 
tion urging the king to end the war was carried in 
the Commons^ (February 27, 1782), and March 20, 
1782, Lord North resigned. The broken Whig 
party then united, Rockingham becoming prime- 
minister, while Shelburne, Fox, Camden, Grafton, 
and Conway came into office under him, all eager 
to negotiate peace. ^ Shelburne succeeded Rocking- 
ham in July, 1782, but the purpose of the ministry 
was not changed. 

The negotiations between the English and Amer- 
ican peace envoys dragged on. Congress had in- 
structed the commissioners not to make terms with- 
out the approval of the French court, but the com- 
missioners became suspicious of Vergennes, broke 
their instructions, and dealt directly and solely with 
the British envoys. Boundaries, fishery questions, 
treatment of the American loyalists, and settlement 
of American debts to British subjects were settled 
one after another, and November 30, 1782, a provi- 
sional treaty was signed. The definitive treaty was 

1 Journal of House of Commons, XXXVIII., 861 ; Parliament' 
ary Hist., 347. ' Memoirs of Rockingham, II., 464. 


delayed until September 3, 1783, after France and 
England had agreed upon terms of peace. ^ 

America awaited the outcome almost with 
lethargy. After Yorktown the country relapsed 
into indifference, and Washington was left helpless 
to do anything to assure victory. He could only 
wait and hope that the enemy was as exhausted as 
America. Disorganization was seen everywhere — • 
in politics, in finance, and in the army. Peace 
came like a stroke of good-fortune rather than a 
prize that was won. Congress (January 14, 1784) 
could barely assemble a quonmi to ratify the treaty.' 

During the war many had feared that British 
victory would mean the overthrow in England of 
constitutional liberty. The defeat, therefore, of the 
king's purpose in America seemed a victor}?- for 
liberalism in England as well as in America. Per- 
sonal government was overthrown, and no British 
king has gained such power since. The dangers 
to freedom of speech and of the press were ended. 
Corruption and daring disregard of public law re- 
ceived a great blow. The ancient course of English 
constitutional development was resumed. Eng- 
land never, it is true, yielded to her colonies what 
America had demanded in 1775, but she did learn 
to handle the affairs of her colonies with greater 
diplomacy, and she does not allow them now to 
get into such an unsympathetic state. 

* Treaties and Conventions, 370, 375. 

' Journals of Congress, January 13, 14, 1784. 

1784] END OF THE WAR 331 

Great Britain herself was not so near ruin as she 
seemed; she was still to be the mother of nations, 
and the English race was not weakened though the 
empire was broken. In political, social, and intel- 
lectual spirit England and America continued to 
be much the same. English notions of private and 
public law still persisted in independent America. 
The large influence which the Anglo-Saxon race had 
long had upon the world's destiny was not left with 
either America or England alone, but with them 
both. America only continued England's "mani- 
fest destiny" in America, pushing her language, 
modes of political and intellectual activity, and her 
social customs, westward and southward — driving 
back Latin civilization in the same resistless way 
as before the Revolution. 

For America much good came out of the Revo- 
lution. Americans had acted together in a great 
crisis, and Washington's efforts in the army to 
banish provincial distinctions did much to create 
fellow-feeling, which would make real union possible. 
With laws and governments alike, and the same 
predominant language, together with common polit- 
ical and economic interests, future unity seemed 

The republican form of government was now 
given a strong foothold in America. Fredericl- 
the Great asserted that the new republic could not 
endure, because "a republican government had 
never been known to exist for any length of time 


where the territory was not limited and concen- 
trated," yet America, within a century, was to 
make it a success over a region three times as 
great as the territory for which Frederick foretold 

Independence left the Americans free to devel- 
op their peculiar type of civilization, for new en- 
vironment taught them new political wants. De- 
spite the fact that the colonies in their revolt 
claimed to be asking only the recognition of the 
principles of the English constitution, they really 
had a new political ideal of their own — self-govern- 
ment by the main body of the people, the principle 
of American democracy. Another political doctrine 
they held also — the democratic doctrine of local 
self-government — not to be ruled by laws made 
thousands of miles away. 

The spirit of America was for the abolition of 
legal distinctions between man and man. The 
suffrage, limited though it was at the close of the 
Revolution, approached every decade thereafter to 
universal suffrage. Stratified society, privileged 
classes, and inequality of opportunity were to find 
no encouragement; and progress, with as few re- 
straints as possible, was to be America's watch- 
word. The "rights of man" were published world 
wide, and class exemptions were doomed. The 
example of revolution was set to the other op- 
pressed people of the world. Within forty years 
all the colonies of Spain in America had followed 

1783] END OF THE WAR 333 

the example of England's colonies. Where rev- 
olution failed, emigration secured for individuals 
the wished for political freedom. Towards America 
set the tide of the lovers of liberty, as soon as the 
Revolution was ended. Franklin in France, dur- 
ing the war, foretold the migration to America. 
"Tyranny is so generally established in the rest of 
the world, that the prospect of an asylum in America 
for those who love liberty gives general joy. . . . We 
are fighting for the dignity and happiness of human 
nature. Glorious it is for the Americans to be 
called by Providence to this post of honor." 



THE best bibliographical guide to books on the American 
Revolution, that appeared before 1889, is Justin Win- 
sor, Narrative and Critical History of America (8 vols., 
1888-1889); the critical essa^^s and editorial notes of vol. 
VI. contain a very full but not very discriminating bibli- 
ography. Justin Winsor, Handbook of the American Revo- 
lution (1879), is a more useful guide for the general reader 
but is now somewhat antiquated. Channing and Hart, 
Guide to the Study of American History (1896), contains in 
chap. xiv. topical lists for this period, and also lists of sec- 
ondary books on state and local history (§23) and of pub- 
lished colonial records (§ 29). Josephus N. Larned, Litera- 
ture of American History (1902, and supplement 1903), 
contains good descriptive and critical notes on the chief 
authorities of this period (pp. 111-152). Richardson and 
Morse, Writings on American History (1904, see especially 
pp. 268-270), gives the gist of the best criticisms on books 
appearing in 1902. Moses Coit Tyler, Literary History of 
the American Revolution (2 vols., 1897), contains a list of 
books (II., 429-483) especially valuable for the study of 
political literature and controversy. Vol. VII. of the Cam- 
bridge Modern History (1903) contains (p. 780) a classified 
but incomplete list of books in the field of the Revolution. 
W. S. Baker, Bibliotheca W ashingtoniana (1889), is also of 
/alue. Much of the material described by George E. 


1783] AUTHORITIES 335 

Howard in his Preliminaries of the Revolution {American 
Nation y VIII.) applies also to the earlier stages of the 


Only a few of the numerous writers on the revolutionary 
period can be mentioned here. George Bancroft, History 
of the United States (last rev , 6 vols., 188 3- 1885), was 
chiefly interested in the revolutionary period. He gives 
scant justice to the British side of the controversy; but he 
is accurate in statement of fact, and had access to a vast 
amount of material. His opinions are much less valuable 
than his facts. Richard Hildreth, History of the United 
States (6 vols., 1849-1852), is dry and annalistic, but very 
accurate as to names and dates. Vol. VI. of Justin Win- 
sor, Narrative and Critical History, contains an accurate, 
narrative, and topical treatment of the Revolution, but 
literary merit is sacrificed to critical apparatus. Sir George 
Otto Trevelyan, The American Revolution, in the three vol- 
umes published to 1903, carries the story to 1777. This 
work, taking the American and English Whig point of 
view, is the result of wide reading, and is the best piece of 
literature on the subject. John Fiske, The American Rev- 
olution (2 vols., 1891), is a popular, military, and personal 
history of the war, broad in view, often inaccurate in de- 
tail, and neglectful of important phases of the struggle. 
Its charming style makes it the most generally read of 
all accounts. William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The 
American Revolution (Woodbum's ed., 1898), is the most 
judicious and authoritative account yet written. It is 
impartial, but, since the volume consists merely of excerpts 
from Lecky's History of England in the Eighteenth Century, 
it neglects American political and constitutional questions. 

Contemporary accounts to be used with critical care are: 
David Ramsay, American Revolution (2 vols., 1789); Will- 
iam Gordon, American War (4 vols., 1788), large parts of 
which are taken from the Annual Register; and Charles 
Stedman, History of the American War (2 vols., 1794), 

VOL. IX. — 23 


which is the best contemporary British account. The 
later British accounts of greatest interest are in John 
Adolphus, History of England (3 vols., 1805), a rabid, un- 
just, Tory account; and P. H. Stanhope (Lord Mahon), 
History of England (7 vols., 1854), a well- written, temper- 
ate, but very British account. Timothy Pitkin, Political 
and Civil History of the United States (2 vols., 1828), is a 
dry but accurate account of the political events of the 


There are two great storehouses for material on the 
revolution: B. P. Stevens, Facsimiles of MSS. in European 
Archives Relating to America, ij7^-iy8$ (25 vols., 1889- 
1898), especially valuable for the English and European 
side of the controversy; Peter Force, American Archives 
(4th series, 6 vols.; 5th series, 3 vols.), the most complete 
collection of materials for the years 17 74-1 7 76. For the 
diplomatic history of the period the source material is in 
Jared Sparks, Diplomatic Correspondence of the American 
Revolution (12 vols., 1829). This material is better edited 
in Francis Wharton, The Revolutionary Diplomatic Corre- 
spondence (6 vols., 1889). The Journals of Congress (13 
vols., 1 7 74-1 783; reprint in 4 vols.; new edition in progress 
under editorship of Worthington C. Ford) are of great 
value for financial, political, and military administrative 
problems. The Secret Journals (4 vols. ,1821), are of especial 
value for diplomatic and financial matters. For the po- 
litical struggle in England the Annual Register (i 758-1 783) 
is useful, as is also J. Almon, Remembrancer (17 vols., 1775- 
1784). Action in the English Parliament may be studied 
in the Calendar of the Journals of the Lords (1810), the 
Journals of the House of Commons (127 vols., 1 547-1872), and 
the Parliamentary Register (177 4- 1779). The spirit of the 
people is best seen in Frank Moore, Diary of the American 
Revolution (i860), which consists of excerpts from the 
newspapers of the day arranged chronxDlogically. Albert 
Bushnell Hart, American History told by Contemporaries, 

1783] AUTHORITIES 337 

II. (1901), is in good part devoted to various phases of the 
Revolution. The military events are best followed in Jared 
Sparks, Correspondence of the Revolution (4 vols., 1853), and 
in either Sparks's edition (12 vols., 1837), or Ford's edition 
(14 vols., 1889) of Writings of Washington; also in the jour- 
nals, lives, or writings of the other prominent generals, 
English and American. The Gentleman's Magazine, dur- 
ing the years of the war, printed many official reports of the 
British officers. Much contemporary matter of value has 
been published by historical societies and state govern- 
ments — see Lamed, Literature of American History (1902), 
pp. 1-20. Of especial value in this class are the Trumbull 
Papers (Massachusetts Historical Society, Collections^ 5th 
series, X.; and 7th series, II., III.). 


Richard Frothingham, Rise of the Republic of the United 
States (6th ed., 1895), is the best general authority upon 
the political and constitutional problems. George Ticknor 
Curtis, Constitutional History of the United States (2 vols., 
1889-1896); the first volume of Hermann E. von Hoist, 
Constitutional History of the United States (Lalor's trans- 
lation, 1880); and Judson S. Landon, The Constitutional 
History of the United States (1889), are suggestive on the 
larger problems. The immense pamphlet literature of the 
period is best studied through Moses Coit Tyler, Literary 
History of the American Revolution (2 vols., 1897), the monu- 
mental work upon the revolution ar}?- political argument 
and literature. The best sources of study of the political 
side in general are John Adams, Works (C. F. Adams's ed., 
10 vols., 1856); John Dickinson, Writings (P. L. Ford's ed., 
3 vols., 1895); Thomas Jefferson, Writings (W. C. Ford's 
ed., II vols. 1 89 2- 1 900); The Political Writings of Thomas 
Paine (2 yols., 1870); Benjamin Franklin, Complete Works 
(Bigelow's ed., 10 vols., 188 7-1 889) ; William V. Wells, Life 
and Public Services of Samuel Adams (3 vols., 1865), i9 ^ 


treasury of valuable materials, but is filled with evilogy of 
Adams and ill-founded condemnation of his contemporaries. 
John and Abigail Adams, Familiar Letters during the Revo- 
lution (C. F. Adams's ed., 1875), is of great interest because 
of the intimate pictures of the life and politics of the time. 


The most valuable close study of the loyalists in a lim- 
ited field is A. C. Flick, Loyalism in New York (1901), which 
contains a good bibliography of manuscript and printed 
sources. Lorenzo Sabine, Biographical Sketches of Loyalists of 
the American Revolution (2 vols., 1864), is a great storehouse 
of information about individual loyalists, and contains a 
suggestive introductory essay upon the loyalist party. G. E. 
Ellis, "The Loyalists," inWinsor, America, VII., 185, is the 
best brief survey of loyal activities. G. A. Gilbert, "The 
Connecticut Loyalists" (American Historical Review, IV., 
273), is a careful and exhaustive treatment of local con- 
ditions. M. C. Tyler, " The Party of the Loyalists in the 
American Revolution" {American Historical Review, T., 
24), is a liberal and able essay upon the character and po- 
litical arguments of the loyalists. A. E. Ryerson, Loyalists 
of America and Their Times (2 vols., 1880), is rather a loy- 
alist history of the Revolution than a history of the loyal- 
ists. A similar but more inaccurate book is Thomas Jones, 
History of New York during the Revolutionary War (2 vols., 
1879), which has the advantage of being nearly a contem- 
porary account, filled with loyal feeling and prejudice. 
The whole subject of the loyalists is treated in Claude H. 
Van Tyne, The Loyalists in the American Revolution (1902), 
which is based upon the monumental collection of material 
about the loyalists in the Lenox Library in New York City, 
under the general title. Transcript of the MS. Books and 
Papers of the Commission of Enquiry into the Losses and 
Services of the American Loyalists . . . preserved . . . in the 
Public Record Office of England; and upon the laws of the 

1783] AUTHORITIES 339 

thirteen colonies, their other public records, and the loyalist 
newspapers of the time. 

Of the loyalist pamphlets and other literature cited by 
Tyler, the most valuable are: Samuel Curwen, Journal and 
Letters (1842); Thomas Hutchinson, Diary and Letters (2 
vols., 1 884-1 886); Joseph Galloway, The Examination of, 
etc. (1779), Cool Thoughts, etc. (1780), A Candid Exami- 
nation, etc. (1775); Daniel Leonard, Massachusetensis, etc. 
(1776); Samuel Seabury, Free Thoughts, etc., by a Farmer 
(1774); and J. Boucher,^ View of the Causes, etc. (1797). 
The biographies of certain prominent loyalists are also of 
value. George E. Ellis, Count Rumford (1868); Henry C. 
Van Schaack, Peter Van Schaack (1842) ; James K. Hosmer, 
Thomas Hutchinson (1896); Noah Brooks, Sir William 
Pepperell (1903); E. H. Baldwin, "Joseph Galloway," in 
Pennsylvania Magazine of History, July, 1902. Upon the 
subject of the trial and banishment of loyalists and con- 
fiscation of their estates there are very useful printed 
sources in Re^rts of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Courts 
of Pennsylvania Before and Since the Revolution (A.J.Dallas's 
ed., 1806). Andrew M. Davis, Confiscation of John Chand- 
ler's Estate (1903), is of great value for all the tedious de- 
tails of confiscation. The effect upon a loyalist family is 
well seen in Letters of James Murray, Loyalist (Tiffany's 
ed., 1901). An instructive document is the famous " Black 
List," A list of those Tories who took part with Great Britain 
in the Revolutionary War and were attainted with High 
Treason, etc. (1865). Suggestive of the persistent perse- 
cution is the Abstract of the Laws of the American States now 
in force relative to debts due to Loyalists (1789); Douglas 
Brymner, Report on the Canadian Archives (especially 1883), 
contains much material about refugee loyalists, as do the 
collections of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia historical 
societies, and Canadian histories in general. Much useful 
matter concerning Massachusetts loyalists may be found 
in the Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings (espe- 
cially 2d series, III., IV.); Wilmot, Historical Vieiv of the 
Commission for Enquiring into the Losses, Services, and 


Claims of the American Loyalists (1815), is a reliable ac- 
count of that work by one of the commissioners. 

PENDENCE (1775-1776) 

The best secondary accounts of these events are to be 
found in the general histories cited above and in the his- 
tories of the thirteen colonies. Only a few of the most 
helpful of the latter can be mentioned. Jeremy Belknap, 
History of New Hampshire (3 vols., 2d ed., 1813) ; Samuel G. 
Arnold, History of the State of Rhode Island (2 vols., 1894); 
Isaac S. Mulford, A Civil and Political History of New 
Jersey (1851); Alden Bradford, History of Massachusetts 
(3 vols., 1822-1829); J. J. Boudinot, Life of E. Boudinot 
(1896), useful for the break-up in New Jersey; Edward 
McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution 
(2 vols., 1 901-1902). The last chapter of Charles L. Raper, 
North Carolina (1904), is a very valuable treatment of the 
break-up in that state. For Pennsylvania we have the 
scholarly monograph by Charles H. Lincoln, Revolutionary 
Movement in Pennsylvania (1901). In W. Roy Smith, 
South Carolina as a Royal Province (1903), is the best treat- 
ment of the downfall of the British government in South 
Carolina. For Maryland there are two good studies, one 
by Bernard C. Steiner, Life and Administration of Sir R. 
Eden {Johns Hopkins University Studies, XVI., 335), and 
by Newton D. Mereness in the last chapter of his Maryland 
as a Proprietary Province (1901). Many town and county 
histories are useful, especially Henry B. Dawson, West- 
chester County (1886) ; James Grant Wilson, Memorial His- 
tory of New York (4 vols., 1891-1893); Justin Winsor, 
Memorial History of Boston (4 vols., 1 880-1 882). 

The printed sources for this subject are vast. New 
Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina have 
printed large portions of their records of the period (see 
Lamed, Literature of American History, 8-12; Channing 

1776] AUTHORITIES 341 

and Hart, Guide, § 29) ; while the records of the remainder 
of the thirteen original states have been printed in smaller 
part by historical societies or by the states themselves. 
(See Lamed, as above.) Onderdonk, Revolutionary Inci- 
dents of Long Island (1846), contains interesting original 
matter on this breaking-up period. Many of the sources 
are conveniently compassed in Daniel R. Goodloe, Birth 
of the Republic (1889). The steps toward independence 
are best traced in the above sources, in Peter Force, Ar- 
chives, and in the Journals of Congress. The facts about 
the Declaration of Independence are best established in 
the essay on that subject by Mellen Chamberlain, in Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, 2d series, V., i; 
also in his John Adams, the Statesman of the Revolution 
(1898). A very thorough study of the independence cam- 
paign is Herbert Friedenwald, The Declaration of Inde- 
pendence (1904). Paine's influence is best studied in 
Thomas Paine, Writings (4 vols., M. D. Conway's ed., 
1894-1896), and in Moncure D. Conway, Life of Thomas 
Paine (2 vols., 1892), an exhaustive, well-written, and fair- 
minded defence. Jefferson's work is most fully treated 
in Henry S. Randall, Life of Thomas Jefferson 3 vols., 
1858), the standard life, carefully written, though preju- 
diced. Thomas Jefferson, Writings (H. A. Washington's 
ed., 9 vols., 1853); P. L. Ford's ed., 10 vols., 1892), are 
also indispensable. The lives of the signers of the Dec- 
laration are very informing, especially William Wirt 
Henry, Life of Patrick Henry (3 vols., 1891), the stand- 
ard work for scholars; Closes Coit Tyler, Life of Patrick 
Henry (1887), the best brief biography; James K. 
Hosmer, Samuel Adams (1885), a well - written popular 
biography; William E. Foster, Stephen Hopkins {Rhode 
Island Historical Tracts, Nos. xix., xx., 1884); James 
Parton, Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (2 vols., 
1864), a close study, now out of date, but well written ex- 
cept for the hero-worship. Kate M. Rowland, Life of 
Charles Carroll (2 vols., 1898), is the best biography of 
the Maryland patriot; John Sanderson, Biography of the 


Signers (5 vols., 1828), is antiquated as to all the signifi- 
cant signers. C. E. Merriam, "Political Theory of Jeffer- 
son," in Political Science Quarterly, March, 1902, is very 


The standard general treatment of this subject is John 
A. Jameson, The Constitutional Convention (1887). W. C. 
Webster, "State Constitutions of the American Revolu- 
tion," in Annals of the American Academy, May, 1897, is a 
dry but valuable analytical treatment of the new consti- 
tutions. C. E. Merriam, History of American Political 
Theories (1903), is an admirably clear and readable account 
of the chief political changes accomplished, but shows 
superficial study. Several chapters in Charles Borgeaud, 
Adoption and Amendment of Constitutions (1895), are use- 
ful. In J. Franklin Jameson, Introduction to the . . . His- 
tory of the States {Johns Hopkins University Studies, IV., 
No. v.), there are very valuable suggestions for this study. 
The constitutions themselves may be found in Ben Perley 
Poore, Charters and Constitutions (2 vols., 1877). A bibli- 
ography of the printed journals and debates of the constitu- 
tional conventions may be found in the University of the 
State of New York, State Library Bulletin, Additions No. 2 
(November, 1894), 266-278. 

There are several valuable studies of this work in indi- 
vidual states. Harry A. Cushing, History of the Transi- 
tion from Provincial to Cojnmonwealth Government in Massa- 
chusetts {Columbia University Studies in Hiswry, VII., 
No. i.). Paul L. Ford, "The Adoption of the Pennsylvania 
Constitution of 1776," in Political Science Quarterly, Sep- 
tember, 1895; Samuel B. Harding, "Party Struggles Over 
the First Pennsylvania Constitution," in American His- 
torical Association, Annual Report (1894); E. W. Sykes, 
The Transition of North Carolina from Colony to Common- 
wealth {Johns Hopkins University Studies, XVI., No. vii.); 
J. A. Silver, The Provisional Government of Maryland 

1781] AUTHORITIES 343 

(Johns Hopkins University Studies, XIII., No. x). The 
best state histories also have good accounts, and the biog- 
raphies of John Adams, John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, 
Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Reed, George Mason, Jefferson, 
Henry, and Madison are all valuable. 

Certain phases of the new state constitutions are best 
studied in W. T. Thom, Struggle for Religious Freedom in 
Virginia {Johns Hopkins University Studies, XVIII., Nos. 
X., xi., xii.); George Jellinek, The Declaration of the Rights 
of Man (Farrand's trans., 1901); Max Farrand, "The Del- 
aware Bill of Rights," in American Historical Review, 
III., 641-649; and Sanford H. Cobb, Rise of Religious 
Liberty in America (1902), a very faulty but suggestive 
work. The far-reaching effects of the new constitutions 
may be seen in H. E. Bourne, " American Precedents in 
the French National Assembly," in American Historical 
Review, VIII., 470. 

FEDERATION (1775-1781) 

The key to the papers of the Continental Congress may 
be found in the Bulletins of the Bureau of Rolls and Li- 
brary, which contain a catalogue of the papers and calen- 
dars of some of them. P. L. Ford, "Materials for a Bibli- 
ography of the Official Publications of the Continental 
Congress," in Boston Public Library, Bulletin, VIII., 320, 
is a valuable guide. Of service also is H. Friedenwald, 
The Journals and Papers of the Continental Congress, in 
American Historical Association, Annual Report, I., 1896; 
and the same author's suggestions for the study of the 
Congress in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and 
Biography, XIX., 197, are noteworthy. J.W.Moore, The 
American Congress (1895), contains an anecdotal, very in- 
adequate, and inaccurate account of the Continental Con- 
gress. Except Samuel Ward's " Diary," in Magazine of 
American History, I., 505, and the "Diary of Richard 
Smith in the Continental Congress," in American Historical 


Review, I., 493, and a few notes taken by John Adams and 
Jefferson, there are few accounts of the debates. The lives 
and writings of members and officers are, of course, helpful. 
W. G. Simms, John Laurens's Correspondence (1867), and 
L. R. Harley's disappointing Life of Charles Thomson 
(1900) are useful books of this character not already men- 

A number of very valuable monographs have been 
written upon phases of this subject. Carl Becker, "Elec- 
tion of Delegates from New York to the Second Continental 
Congress," in American Historical Review, IX., 66; J. 
Franklin Jameson, Essays in Constitutional History . . . 
lyy^-iySg (1889), containing essays on the executive and 
judicial work of the Congress; also J. Franklin Jameson, 
"The Standing Committee System," etc., in American 
Historical Association, Report, 1893, p. 391. An analytical 
study of the functions of Congress is that by A. W. Small. 
The Beginnings of American Nationality {Johns Hopkins 
University Studies, VIII., Nos. i., ii.). 

The making of the Articles of Confederation is treated 
in the general histories cited above, and may be studied 
in the sources suggested for the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence and the Congress. Their operation and effect are 
discussed by Andrew C. McLaughlin, Confederation and the 
Constitution {American Nation, X.). 


Vol. III. of John W. Fortescue, History of the British 
Army (1902), is based upon the fullest knowledge of the 
British sources, but, while fair in purely military matters, 
is rabidly anti- American on political topics. Plenry B. 
Carrington, Battles of the American Revolution (2 vols., 
1876), is accurate and valuable for its military criticism. 
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution 
(1855), is useful for the personal acquaintance with battle- 
grounds, the veteran's anecdotes, and other stimulating 
detail. Of great value as an original source during a large 


part of the war are the Kemhle Papers (New York Historical 
Society, Collections, vol. for 1883), which contain besides 
Kemble's journal the British army orders of Howe, Clinton, 
and Jones, 1775 to 1778; James Thacher, Military Journal 
during the American War (1827), has a value not wholly 
destroyed by the mistaken revision of his contemporary 
journal. John G. Simcoe, Journals (1844), are also useful. 
The main reliance of the historian must, of course, be the 
letters and writings of Washington, Greene, and the other 
generals in the field. 

MILITARY EVENTS (1775-1776) 

The military side of the conflict to the midsummer of 
1776 is best followed in Richard Frothingham, History of 
the Siege of Boston (6th ed., 1895), the standard work on 
the subject, with helpful references to the sources in foot- 
notes. Charles Francis Adams, "Battle of Bunker Hill," 
in American Historical Review, I., 401-413, furnishes the 
best criticism of that battle. B. F. Stevens, General Sir 
William Howe's Orderly Book (1890), is an invaluable source 
for this period. The Letters of Hugh, Earl Percy (C. K. 
Bolton's ed., 1902), contains new and interesting contem- 
porary evidence in this field. Justin H. Smith, Arnold's 
March from Cambridge to Quebec (1903), is a fine piece of 
scientific work, in which John Codman, Arnold's Expe- 
dition to Quebec (1901), is severely criticised. A good list 
of authorities including the numerous contemporary jour- 
nals is given. Of great value in explaining the failure of 
the expedition is Victor Coffin, The Province of Quebec and 
the Early American Revolution (University of Wisconsin, 
Bulletin, 1896). The Journals of Each Provincial Congress 
of Massachusetts (1838) is a valuable source for the political 
as well as military action in that state. Alfred T. Mahan, 
"Naval Campaign on Lake Champl'ain," in Scribner's Mag- 
azine, February, 1898, is the best treatment of Arnold's 
struggle there. Bayard Tuckerman, Life of Philip Schuyler 
(1904), is also authoritative. James Graham, Life of Morgan 


(1856), contains many valuable documents. Charles Carroll's 
Journal (1845) is useful on the attempt to secure Canada. 


The most scholarly treatment of this whole subject is 
Henry P. Johnston, Campaign of 1776 around New York 
and Brooklyn (1878). This and the same author's Battle 
of Harlem Heights (1897) contain a mine of original matter 
accuratel}^ establishing every fact. Charles Francis Adams, 
"Battle of Long Island," in American Historical Review, 
I., 650, is the best criticism of that battle. Paul Leicester 
Ford, "Lord Howe's Commission to Pacify the Colonies," 
in Atlantic Monthly, June, 1896, contains the contem- 
porary account written by Howe's secretary. "The 
Orders of Mercer, Sullivan, and Stirling," in A^nerican 
Historical Review, III., 302, show the state of the Amer- 
ican Army just before the Long Island battle. General 
William Howe, Narrative, contains his best defence. The 
conduct of Charles Lee at this time and later is conclusively 
shown to be treasonable in George H. Moore, Treason of 
Charles Lee (i860). Lee's letters and papers are published 
in four volumes by the New York Historical Society, 
Collections (1871-1874), and in E. Langworthy, Memoirs of 
. . . Lee (1793). William Stryker, Battles of Trenton and 
Princeton (1898), is an elaborate, documentary treatment, 
with maps and a full bibliography of the retreat across the 
Jerseys and the final victories. Edward J. Lowell, The Hes- 
sians, etc. (1884), is a scholarly treatment of the German 
auxiliaries, their hiring and service in America. Max von 
Eelking, German Allied Troops in the North American War 
of Independence (Rosengarten's trans., 1893), is also an 
important source of information. 

burgoyne's campaign (1777) 

William L. Stone, The Campaign of . . . Burgoyne and 
Expedition of . . . St. Leger (1877), is a valuable compilation 
by a weighty authority v/ho wrote for the general reader. 

1778] AUTHORITIES 347 

His translation of Letters of Brunswick and Hessian Officers 
during the American Revolution (1891) contains, much first- 
hand information about Burgoyne's and the American 
armies. J. M. Hadden, Journal kept . . . upon Burgoyne's 
Campaign (H. Rogers's ed., 1884), is one of the most im- 
portant contemporary accounts, as are also Madame Rie- 
desel, Letters and Journals . . . of the American Revolution 
(Stone's ed., 1867), and Friedrich A. Riedesel, Memoirs 
(Stone's trans., 1868). Burgoyne's defence of his cam- 
paign is given in his A State of the Expedition from, Canada 
as Laid before the House of Commons (1780), and in the 
apologetic work by Edward B. de Fonblanque, Political 
and Military Episodes, etc. (1876). The latter book con- 
tains many documentary proofs. Valuable material for 
the battle of Bennington is to be found in the Vermont 
Historical Society, Collections; New Hampshire State Papers; 
Records of the Council of Safety . . . of Vermont, I. (1873). 
The Public Papers of George Clinton (6 vols., published by 
State of New York, 1 899-1 902) are valuable for all New York 
military affairs. 

Howe's campaign (1777) 

Much source material for this campaign may be found in 
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Pennsylvania Ar- 
chives. W. D. Stone, Battle of Brandywine (pamphlet, 
1895), is of value, though the best account of that battle is 
in Charlemagne Tower, The Marquis de La Fayette in the 
American Revolution (2 vols , 1895). Worthington C. Ford, 
"The Defence of Philadelphia," in Pennsylvania Magazine 
of History, October, 1895, to January, 1897, contains a full 
presentation of the contemporary documents. Charles J. 
Stille, Anthony Wayne (1893), contains a scholarly account 
of the battles of Germantown, Monmouth, and Stony Point. 

MILITARY EVENTS (1778-1781) 

John Laurens, Army Correspondence (Bradford Club se- 
ries No. 7, 1867), contains letters dealing with the intrigues 


of the army, the daily life in camp, and the Monmouth 
battle. T. W. Bean, Washington at Valley Forge, etc. 
(1876), is a careful account, and the maps in the volume are 
valuable. Friedrich Kapp, Life of Frederick W. von 
Steuben (1859), is a reliable account of Steuben's service to 
the American army. Christopher Marshall, Extracts from 
Diary (Duane's ed., 1877), is a standard contemporary 
authority for all events in this region during 17 74-1 7 7 7. 
The Charles Lee literature cited above is again valuable 
upon his conduct at Monmouth, as are also the Proceedings 
of his coUrt-martial at Brunswick. H. P. Johnston, The 
Storming of Stony Point (1900), is an exhaustive, scientific 
study of that event. William Abbatt, Crisis of the Revolu- 
tion (1899), is a well-written story of Arnold's treason told 
from the sources. Isaac N. Arnold, Benedict Arnold (1880), 
seeks to soften the common judgment of Arnold, but is, 
nevertheless, a work of value. Lives of Washington, 
Burr, Lafayette, Andre, and General Lamb are nearly all 


Two monumental works treat of the war in the West. 
Justin Winsor, The Western Movement (1897), is a work of 
great learning and unfortunate literary form. The great 
mass of facts is authenticated only by the author's reputa- 
tion as a scholar, and much of its usefulness to the specialist 
is thus lost. Theodore Roosevelt, The Winning of the West 
(4 vols., 1889-1896), is of great value to the general reader 
because of its authentic tale of the dramatic and pictu- 
resque Indian fights, explorations, and border intrigues. 
The student finds only brief treatments of the more serious 
matters, the growth of local institutions and the political 
and diplomatic problems of the West. That side of western 
history can be studied in the admirable work of F. J. Turner 
and his school of historical students. Of especial value in 
the field of the Revolution is Frederick J. Turner, "Western 
State-Making in the Revolutionary Era," in American 

1779] AUTHORITIES 340 

Historical Review, I., and G. H. Alden, New Governments 
West of the Alleghanies before ijSo (University of Wisconsin, 
Bulletin, II., No. i., 1897), with a bibliography. C. E. 
Boyd, "The County of Illinois," in American Historical 
Review, IV., 623, is a valuable study of government in the 
revolutionary West. Reuben G. Thwaites, Life of Daniel 
Boone (1904), is an authoritative, clear, well-balanced, and 
final account of the famous hunter. Archer B. Hulbert, 
Historic Highways Series, contains several volumes that 
throw some light on the westward movement. William H. 
English, Conquest of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio, 
etc. (1896), is a good history of Clark's work, with a vast 
amount of detail and many documents and facsimiles. 
Burke A. Hinsdale, The Old Northwest (1888), is a dry but 
broad and scholarly treatment of the whole struggle for the 
northwest. There is much original matter concerning 
Clark's conquest in the Illinois Historical Collections, I. 
(1903) . The published records of all those states interested 
in the western lands contain source material. Letters and 
a journal by Clark are printed in the American Historical 
Review, L, VIII. 

On the border warfare of New York the standard au- 
thority is William W. Campbell, Annals of Try on County 
(1831), where the source matter is handled with good 
judgment and no little literary sense. Sir John Johnson's 
Orderly Book (Stone's ed., with introduction by J. W. de 
Peyster, 1882), is of value for the loyalist pomt of view. 
Consul W. Butterfield, History of the Girtys (1890) is a work 
of research very valuable in correcting the false legends 
concerning the origin of "Lord Dunmore's War." Lewis 
S. Shimmell, Border Warfare in Pennsylvania during the 
Revolution (1901), is a useful dissertation written from the 
sources. Journals of the Military Expedition of Major- 
General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 
1779 (Conover's ed., 1887) is the best collection of sources 
for the expedition; while the most serviceable account is 
that of Rev. D. Craft, in D. Weller, Centennial Celebration 
of General Sullivan's Campaign, etc. (1880). A valuable 


outline of events in the southwest is given in B. A. Hins- 
dale, "The Establishment of the First Southern Boundary 
of the United States," in American Historical Association, 
Report, 1893. 

THE WAR IN THE SOUTH (1776-1780) 

The most important work dealing with this subject is 
Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the 
Revolution (2 vols., 1901-1902), a scholarly, well-written, 
and exhaustive treatment, erring, if at all, in a rather harsh 
judgment of General Greene. The sources of the greatest 
value are the many valuable documents found in Banastre 
Tarleton, History of the Campaigns of lySo-iySi in the 
Southern Provinces of North America (1787); W. Moultrie's 
interesting Memoirs of the American Revolution (1802); J. 
Drayton, Memoirs of the American Revolution . . .to i^y 6 In- 
clusive (182 1) ; Henry Lee, Memoirs of the War in the South- 
ern Department of the United States (1869); Garden, Anec- 
dotes of the Revolutionary War (1822), is of use; and, for 
Marion's activities, R. W. Gibbes, Documentary History of 
the American Revolution (1853-1857) is good. Of the 
earlier histories of South Carolina during the war the most 
important is David Ramsay, History of the Revolution of 
South Carolina from a British Colony to an Independent 
State (2 vols., 1785), a drj^ account written by a contem- 
porary resident. A good critical account of Cornwallis's in- 
vasion of the Carolinas is David Schenck, North Carolina, 
ij8o-iy8i (1889). The lives of Nathanael Greene, by G. 
W. Greene (3 vols., 1867-1871), and by William Johnson 
(2 vols., 1822), are valuable for the documents contained, 
but are vitiated by ancestor and hero worship. More 
moderate than either is the life by Francis Vinton (1893). 
Friedrich Kapp, Life of J. Kalb (1884), is a scrupulous ac- 
count of Kalb's valuable services to America. Lyman C. 
Draper, King's Mountain and Its Heroes (i 881), is the inex- 
haustible quarry for all details of events connected with 
that battle. 



The most careful and exhaustive single study of the 
Yorktown campaign is Henry P. Johnston, The Yorktown 
Campaign and the Surrender of Cornwallis, iy8i (1881). 
An account containing fine maps, pictures, and reprints is 
John A. Stevens, "The Allies at Yorktown," in Magazine of 
American History, VI., chap. i. ; B. F. Stevens, Campaign 
in Virginia, lySi: an exact reprint of six rare pamphlets 
on the Clinton-Cornwallis controversy, with . . . notes by Sir 
Henry Clinton, etc. (2 vols., 1888), is of great value on the 
campaign. William Feltman, Journal, lySi-iySz, em- 
bracing the siege of Yorktown and the Southern Campaign^ 
in Pennsylvania Historical Society, Collections, 1853, is a 
valuable source ; though the most important contemporary 
materials are in Lafayette, Memoirs (3 vols., 1837); Ro- 
chambeau, Memoirs (1838); Cornwallis' s Correspondence 
(C. Ross ed., 1859); and Washington, Writings, 


There are two works of especial value on this subject, 
the best organized and most scientific being L. C. Hatch, 
The Administration of the American Revolutionary Army 
{Harvard Historical Studies, X,, 1904), and the more pop- 
ular C. K. Bolton, The Private Soldier under Washington 
(1902). Much information on the subject is found in 
Noah Brooks, Henry Knox (1900). The published writ- 
ings of those men interested in the continental or state or- 
ganization are very useful. Alexander Hamilton, Works 
(Lodge's ed., 9 vols., 1885-1886); William B. Reed, Life 
and Correspondefice of Joseph Reed (2 vols., 1847); William 
H. Smith, The St. Clair Papers (2 vols., 1882) ; S. B. Webb, 
Correspondence and Journals (Ford's ed., 3 vols., 1893- 
1894); and especially Washington's Writings. A valuable 
source is William T. R. Saffell, Records of the Revolutionary 
War (1858). 



The best view of the p^rt which naval warfare playe4 in 
the Revolution is that of Alfred T, Mahan, Influeme of 
Sea Power upon History (1889), but the American navy 
receives only its small proportionate attention. Edgar S. 
Maclay, History of the United States Navy (3 vols., 1898- 
1901), is based upon research in French and English ar- 
chives, and furnishes the best account of the details which 
an American reader wishes. John R. Spears, History of 
Our Navy, lyj^-iSgj (1897), is good on the revolutionary 
period, and is more philosophical than Maclay's worlc. 
The lives of John Paul Jones, by J. H. Sherburne (i8?5), 
Alexander S. Mackenzie (1841), and Augustus Buell (1900), 
are useful. Valuable as a key to original matter is the C, 
H. Lincoln, Calendar of the J. P. Jones Manuscripts (1903), 
The aid rendered by the French navy is most fairly pre- 
sented by Eduard Chevalier in his Histoire de la MQrim 
Frangaise pendant la Guerre de V Independance AmSricaine 


The best monograph on the finances of the American 
Revolution is in Charles J. Bullock, Finances of the United 
States (1895). Albert S. Bolles, Financial History of the 
United States, I. (1884), contains a great amount of 
material, ill digested and lacking definite treatment. 
William G. Sumner, The Financier and Finances of the 
American Revolution (2 vols., 1891), is an ill-arranged store- 
house of materials relating to Robert Morris, confusing to 
read. Henry Bronson, Historical Account of Connecticut 
Currency (1865), is a strong and scholarly essay. Ellis 
P. Oberholtzer, Life of Robert Morris (1903), is valuable for 
the part taken by the financier. Davis R. Dewey, Finan- 
cial History of the United States {American Citizen Series, 
1903), contains a good brief treatment of the subject and a 
good critical bibliography. For the special subject, R. A. 
Bayley, History of the National Loans of the United States 

1783] AUTHORITIES 353 

(Tenth Census of the United States, XIII.) , is very valuable. 
The general economic effects of the war are sketched in 
William B. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New 
England (2 vols., 1890). 


A select bibliography of American diplomacy in general 
is printed in Albert Bushnell Hart, Foundations of Amer- 
ican Foreign Policy (1901). The foundation for diplomacy 
is either Jared Sparks's or Wharton's Diplomatic Corre- 
spondence of the American Revolution. The first volume 
of Wharton's edition is given up to an unwieldy introduc- 
tion which discusses the diplomacy and the careers of the 
diplomats of the Revolution. Theodore Lyman, Diplomacy 
of the United States (2 vols., 1828), and Williamx H. Trescot, 
Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1852), have both 
been superseded. Upon the relations with France the 
standard and monumental work is H. Doniol, Historie de 
la Participation de la France a V Etdblissement des Etats-Unis 
d*Amerique (5 vols., 1 886-1 900). The original material in 
Doniol may be supplemented by J. Durand, New Materials 
for the History of the American Revolution (1889). The 
best use of the sources in Doniol by an American writer 
is Charlemagne Tower, The Marquis de La Fayette in the 
American Revolution (2 vols., 1895), wherein we have not 
only the best life of Lafayette but the clearest account of 
otu" relations with France. Lafayette, Memoirs, etc. (3 
vols., 1837), constitute a useful source. The aid rendered 
by Beaumarchais is best studied in the charming biog- 
raphy by L. L. de Lomenie, Beaumarchais and His Times 
(Edwards's trans., 1857; Lyster's trans., 1895). Other 
biographies contain valuable treatments of some phases 
of the diplomacy: Edward Everett Hale, Franklin in 
France (2 vols., 1 887-1 888); William Jay, Life of John 
Jay (2 vols., 1833) ; John Adams, Life with Works, by C. F. 
Adams (10 vols., 1856); George Pellew, John Jay (1890); 
^nd R. H. Lee, Life of Arthur Lee (2 vols., 1829), the latter 


a maze of garbled texts of original material and useless bi- 
ography, unworthy of attention except that it is the only 
life of a man concerned in many important diplomatic mat- 
ters. In addition to these lives there are valuable published 
papers and correspondence: H. P. Johnston, The Corre- 
spondence and Public Papers of John Jay (1890); Charles 
Isham, The Deane Papers (New York Historical Society, 
Collections, 5 vols., 1886-1890); The Lee Papers (in the 
same series, 4 vols., 1871-1874); Letters of William Lee 
(W. C. Ford's ed., 3 vols., 1892). 

Among magazine articles which throw light on the for- 
eign aid rendered to America are: J. Franklin Jameson, 
"St. Eustatius in the American Revolution," in Amer- 
ican Historical Review, VIII., 683; Paul Haworth, "Fred- 
erick the Great and the American Revolution," in 
American Historical Review, IX., 460; Emil Reich, "A 
New View of the American Revolution," in North Ameri- 
can Review, ]m\y, 1903. F. Rousseau, "Participation de 
I'Espagne a la Guerre d'Amerique," in Revue des Questions 
Historiques, October, 1902; Frederick J. Turner, "The 
Diplomatic Contest for the Mississippi Valley," in Atlantic 
Monthly, June, 1904. A valuable bibliography for this 
subject may be found in Laura C. Sheldon, France and the 
American Revolution, a Cornell thesis (1900). 


The best sources for the political struggle in England 
during the war with America are the Annual Register 
(1759-1783); Almon, Parliamentary Register (1774-1783); 
Sir H. Cavendish, Debates of the House of Commons (3 vols., 
1 7 68-1 7 74); Historical Manuscripts Commission Reports, 
I -15; G. T. P. Albemarle, Memoirs of the Marquis of 
Rockingham, and His Contemporaries (2 vols., 1852); the 
Correspondence and Speeches of Charles James Fox, Ed- 
mund Burke, and William Pitt; W. B. Donne, Correspond- 
ence of George IIL with Lord North (2 vols., 1867); W. J. 
Smith , The Grenv iJlc Papers ( 4 vols , , 1 8 5 2 ) , Sir William R. 

1783] AUTHORITIES 355 

Anson, Autobiography of . . . Duke of Grafton . . . (1898); 
Horace Walpole, Journal of the Reign of King George III, 
(Doran's ed., 2 vols., 1859) ; Earl of Malmesbury, Z^^'art^j and 
Correspondence (2 vols., 1844), and Letters of David Hume 
to William Strahan (G. Birkbeck Hill's ed., 1888). 

The secondary works of value on this topic are the Eng- 
lish histories mentioned above, among the general second- 
ary works, to which may be added T. E. May, Constitu- 
tional History of England (2 vols., 1863), and J. R. Seeley, 
Expansion of England (1883). There is also much ma- 
terial in biographies like Lord John Russell, Life and Times 
of C. J. Fox (3 vols., 1859); E. G. P. Fitzmaurice, 
Life of William, Earl of Shelburne (3 vols., 1875); John 
Morley, Edmund Burke (1867), and his Burke in the English 
Men of Letters series (1888); L. Tyerman, Life and Times 
of Rev, John Wesley (3 vols., 187 1); Lord John Campbell, 
Lives of the Chief- Justices of England (4 vols., 1874); J. 
H. Jesse, George Selwyn and His Contemporaries (4 vols., 
1843). Finally, there is some very suggestive matter con- 
cerning public opinion in H. R. Fox Bourne, English 
Newspapers (1887). 


Adams, John, statesman, 41; 
leads for independence, 42, 
69, 79; on state governments. 
55; on" Common Sense," 62; 
and Howe's conciliation, 104, 
1 08-1 10; on venality, 127; 
on natural rights, 146; war 
board, 189; on members of 
Congress, 194, 197; urges 
foreign missions, 211; in 
France, 220. 

Adams, Samuel, circular letter, 
18; committees of corre- 
spondence, 21; and Revolu- 
tion, 25-27 ; and Hancock, 39. 

Allegiance, oath, 132 ; test laws, 

Allen, Ethan, Ticonderoga, 40. 

Andr6, John, hanged, 307. 

Aristocracy, opposition to, 147, 

Army, American, before Bos- 
ton, 30-32, 44, 47; indi- 
vidual character, 33; Wash- 
ington commands, 42, 44; 
other officers, 45 ; reorganized, 
47, 133-135; condition (1776) 
105, 118-120, 123, 128, 131; 
(1778), 236-239; (1780), 305; 
standing, 133, 134; appoint- 
ments, 160; intrigue, 161, 
236; foreign volunteers, 215, 
216; commissary, 236; Steu- 
ben trains, 238; pensions and 
half -pay, 239; mutiny, 322; 
bibliography, 352. See also 

Army, British, Boston Massa- 
cre, 20; condition (1775), 
97; mercenaries, 97-101; size 
at New York, 103; loyalist 
recruits, 128, 249, 251; Bur- 
goyne's, 159; trade with, 244. 
See also Revolution. 

Arnold, Benedict, Ticonderoga, 
40; Canadian expedition, 46; 
resists Carleton's advance, 
1 1 6-1 18; slighted, 160; 
charges against, 161, 306; at 
Ridgefield, 162; promoted, 
162 ; Mohawk expedition, 167 ; 
Freeman's Farm, 172; at 
Philadelphia, 306 ; treason, 
306-308; in Virginia, 325; 
bibliography, 345, 348. 

Assembling, right, 144. 

Augusta, captured, 294. 

Baum, Friedrich, Bennington, 

Beaumarchais, Caron de, and 
aid for Revolution, 206-208; 
Vergennes' agent, 210. 

Bemis Heights, battles, 172. 

Bennington, battle, 165; bibli- 
ography, 347. 

Bibliographies, of Revolution, 
334; of state constitutions, 
342 ; of Continental Congress, 
343; of diplomatic history, 

^.353. 354-. , 

Bill of rights, state, 142- 


Bonvouloir, French agent, 2;?. 




Boone, Daniel, in Kentucky, 
273. 275. 

Boston, Liberty riot, 19 ; Massa- 
cre, 20; Tea Party, 22; Port 
bill, 22; siege, 30-34, 44, 47" 
49; bibliography of siege, 


Brandywine Creek, battle, 169; 
bibliography, 347. 

Brant, Joseph, with St. Leger, 
166; at Cherry Valley, 250. 

Briar Creek, battle, 294. 

Brooklyn Heights, defences, 
105; abandoned, 107. 

Bunker Hill, battle, 32, 33. 

Burgoyne, John, joins Gage, 
32; plan (1777), 157-159; 
army, 159; takes Ticon- 
deroga, 159, 160; and Howe, 
163, 168; difficulties, 164; 
Bennington, 165; St. Leger' s 
failure, 166, 167; crosses the 
Hudson, 171; Freeman's 
Farm, 172; surrounded, 173; 
and Clinton's advance, 173; 
surrender, 173; effect, 174, 
223, 227, 231; bibliography, 

Burke, Edmund, and imperial 
taxation, 17, 

Butler, John, rangers, 250; at 
Wyoming, 250. 

Campbell, Sir Archibald, 
Georgia campaign, 294. 

Campbell, John, and Galvez, 
285, 286. 

Canada, expedition, 46, 116; 
invitation to, 202; bibliog- 
raphy of expedition, 345. 

Carleton, Sir Guy, campaign 
(1776), 116-118. 

Carroll, Charles, urges inde- 
pendence, 77. 

Catherine II., and neutral 
rights, 314-316, 319. 

Certificates of character, 258. 

Charleston, Clinton's attack 
(1776), 77, 78; Prevost's at- 

tack (1779), 294, 295; capt- 
ured (1780), 297. 

Charters, Massachusetts, an- 
nulled, 23. 

Chase, Samuel, urges inde- 
pendence, 77; Adams on, 

Chatham, Earl of. See Pitt. 

Cherokee attack on frontier, 

Cherry Valley, Tory attack, 

Choiseul, Due de, foresees Rev- 
olution, 203. 

Church of England, American 
bishop, 112. 

Clark, G. R., plan to conquer 
Northwest, 280, 281; ex- 
pedition, 281, 282; Vin- 
cennes, 283; effect, 284; bib- 
liography, 349. 

Clinton, Sir Henry, joins Gage, 
32; attack on Charleston, 
77, 78; advance to meet 
Burgo5rne, 172, 173; in com- 
mand, 244; evacuates Phil- 
adelphia, 245: captures 
Charleston , 296-298; proc- 
lamation, 298; and Arnold, 

Coercive power lacking in Con- 
federation, 199. 

Colonies, English policy and 
effect, 3-7; English ties, 17; 
basis of parliamentary coer- 
cion, 20; jealousy, 27, 30; 
Whigs and Tories, 27; revo- 
lutionary governments, 52- 
55; bibliography of end of 
governments, 340; See also 
States, and colonies by name. 

Commerce, navigation acts, 7 ; 
Molasses Act, 8; writs of 
assistance, 9, 18; Towns- 
hend acts, 17-19; non-im- 
portation, 19, 24; Gas pee 
affair, 21; Boston Port bill, 
22; ports opened, 69; French 
treaty, 224; speculation, 242; 



destruction, 243, 290; with 
British army, 244. See also 

Committees of correspondence, 
21, 52. 

Committees of safety, 53. 

ConciHation, Howe's attempt, 
103-105, 108-110; North's 
measure , 231-233; commis- 
sion, 246. 

Concord, battle, 24; effect, 29. 

Confederation, resolution for, 
71 ; Articles drafted, 183-185 ; 
representation, 184, 200; dis- 
cussed, 185, 186, 198-202; 
fatal weakness, 199; strength, 
199; basis of requisitions, 
201; and West, 201, 287; 
bibliography, 344. 

Connecticut, instructs for in- 
dependence, 72; Tryon's ex- 
peditions, 162, 254; western 
claim, 287. 

Constitutions, state, adoption, 
139-142; character, 142-152; 
influence of frontier, 270; 
bibliography, 342, 

Continental Congress, first, 23, 
24, 89. 

Continental Congress, second, 
election of delegates, 34-36, 
90; audacity, 37; parties, 37- 
39, 194-196; president, 39; 
and Ticonderoga, 40; and 
army, 42, 119, 160, 162, 170, 
189,238; petition to king, 42, 
56; recommends temporary 
governments, 54; and loyal- 
ists, 69, 267 ; authorizes priva- 
teering, 69; opens ports, 69; 
urges state governments, 71; 
motion for independence, 71, 
72; delay, 72; debate, 79-81; 
vote, 81; Declaration, 82- 
86; and Howe's conciliation, 
103-105; flees, 125, 169; 
state jealousies, 160; and 
Burgoyne's surrender, 174; 
powers ^nd activities, 175, 

181, 186-193; agent of states, 
180; Articles of Confedera- 
tion, 183-186, 198-202; at 
B altimore , 185; executive , 
188-190; committees, 189; 
duties of president, 190; 
secretary, 190; judiciary, 19 o— 
192; method, 192; character 
of members, 193, 196-198; 
agent to France, 211, 212; 
commissioners, 216; finances, 

239-243. 303-305; and 
North's commissioners, 246; 
and western settlements, 276- 
279; naval affairs, 290; and 
South 298, 300; decline, 302, 
330; and Spanish aid, 312; 
bibliography, 343, 344. 

Conventions, provincial, 53; 
constitutional, 139-142. 

Conway Cabal, 236; bibli- 
ography, 347. 

Cornstalk, defeated, 275. 

Comwallis, Lord, at Princeton, 
131 ; goes south, 296; Camden, 
300; and Greene, 323, 324; 
Yorktown, 325-327. 

Courts, admiralty trial, 18. 

Cowpens, battle, 323. 

Crown Point, captured, 41. 

Customs, smuggling, 8; Towns- 
hend duties, 18; Liberty riot, 

Dana, Francis, envoy, 313. 
Danbury, burned, 162. 
Deane, Silas, agent in France, 

212, 213, 216; commissioner, 

De Lanceys, loyalists, 88, 113. 
Delaware, and independence, 

76; constitution, 140. 
Democracy, and Revolution, 5 3 ; 

rise, 137-139, 142-147; and 

treatment of loyalists, 268; 

American influence, 332. 
Dickinson, John, on taxation, 

18; conservative, 37-39; 

forces petition to kin^, 42; 



opposes independence, 72, 80; 

drafts Articles, 183; Adams 

on, 198. 
Division of powers, problem, 

183-185, 199. 
Donation of produce, 304. 
Dorchester Heights, fortified, 

Dunmore, Lord, and Whigs, 

59-61; burns Norfolk, 61. 
Dunmore' s war, 274. 

Economic conditions, frontier, 
269; bibliography, 352. See 
also Commerce, Finances, 

Eden, Sir Robert, and Whigs, 


England, rise of imperial policy, 
5-7 ; approves tax on colo- 
nies, 20 ; public feeling (1775), 
57-59; attempts at concilia- 
tion, 103-105, 108-110, 231— 
233, 246; and American 
agents in France, 212, 217, 
218; opinions on Revolution, 
226-233, 246; reform move- 
ment, 228; turns to Chatham, 
233-235; loyalists in, 264; 
and neutrals, 313-316, 319; 
Dutch war, 316, 318; effect 
of Revolution, 330; bibliog- 
raphy of politics, 354, 355. 
See also Colonies, France, 
George III., Parliament, Rev- 

Entail abolished, 148. 

Estaing, Count d', on American 
coast, 291; Newport, 292; in 
West Indies, 293; Savannah, 

_ 295. 

Executive, state, 144; powers 
of Congress, 188-190. 

Fair Haven, burned, 248. 
Fairfield, burned, 254. 
Falmouth, burned, 57. 
Ferguson, Patrick, raid, 301 ; 
King's Mountain, 302. 

Finances, Morris upholds, 125; 
loans, 210, 303; revolu- 
tionary, 239-243; requisi- 
tions, 303; donations, 304; 
paper money, 304; bibliog- 
raphy, 352. 

Fisheries, destroyed, 243. 

Florida, Spain occupies, 286, 

Floridablanca, Conde de, and 
Revolution, 214, 

Foreign affairs, envoys, 313; 
bibliography, 353. See also 
France, Neutrality, Spain. 

Foreign volunteers in army, 
215, 216. 

France, reasons for interference, 
203-209, 310; secret aid, 
209-215; American agent, 
2 1 1 - 2 1 3 ; effect of Long 
Island battle, 214; American 
commissioners, 216; and 
Franklin , 218-220; popular 
sympathy, 221; prepares for 
war, 222; effect of Bur- 
g05me's surrender, 223; al- 
liance, 224-226, 289, 293; 
sea power, 289; navy on 
American coast, 291 - 293, 
320, 326; navy in' West 
Indies, 293, 319-321, 328; 
alliance with Spain, 309-312; 
attempted invasion of Eng- 
land, 319; army in America, 
320, 326; bibliography of aid, 

Franklin, Benjamin, on inter- 
colonial jealousy, 277; and 
Howe's conciliation, 108- 
iio; on representation, 200; 
commissioner to France, 217 ; 
reception, 2-18-220; and the 
court, 220, 222; on privateer- 
ing, 290; on immigration, 

Franklin, William, and Whigs, 

Frederick the Great, and mer- 
cenaries, 99, 233; and Rev- 
olution, 314; and neutral 




rights, 314-316; on republics, 

Freeman's Farm, battles, 172. 
Frontier, Atlantic back lands, 

269, 271; social influence, 

270; proclamation line, 271. 

See also West. 

Gage, Thomas, in Boston, 24; 
Bunker Hill, 32, t,^, 

Galvez, Bernardo de, defeats 
British, 285. 

Gas pes affair, 21. 

Gates, Horatio, joins army, 45; 
at Ticonderoga, 159, 160; in- 
trigue, 161; succeeds Schuy- 
ler, 171; Bemis Heights, 172; 
receives Burgoyne's surren- 
der, 173; Camden, 300. 

George III., and Stamp Act, 
16; influence on Revolution, 
20; colonial petition, 42, 56; 
proclaims rebellion, 56; and 
conciliation, 230; and North, 
232, 236; and Chatham, 234- 
236; personal rule ends, 329, 


Georgia, and independence, 70; 
campaign, 293-295. 

German mercenaries, hiring, 
73, 97-101, 233; character, 
98; desert, 132, 173; bibliog- 
raphy, 346. 

Germans, loyalists, 74; frontier 
settlers, 271. 

Germantown, battle, 170. 

Gibraltar, siege, 319, 328. 

Government, American theo- 
ries, 137-139, 142, 145; fron- 
tier compacts, 273, 275; type, 
332. See also Colonies, Con- 
federation, Continental Con- 
gress, States. 

Governors, early state, 144. 

Grasse, Comte de, on American 
coast, 321; Yorktown, 326; 
in West Indies, 328. 

Graves, Thomas, blockades 
Temay, 320; Yorktown, 326. 

Great Bridge, battle, 61. 

Greene, Nathanael, joins army, 
3 1 ; and Fort Washington ,122; 
Germantown , 170; Carolina 
campaign, 323-325; bibliog- 
raphy, 350. 

Grenville, George, stamp duties, 
7, 10; enforcement of Mo- 
lasses Act, 10; fall, 16. 

Grimaldi, Marques de, and 
Revolution, 210, 214. 

Guichen, Comte de, and Rod- 



ford Court House, battle. 

Haerlem, army at, 118, 121. 

Hamilton, Alexander, on nat- 
ural rights, 145. 

Hamilton, Henry, raids, 279; 
Vincennes, 282-284. 

Hancock, John, Liberty riot, 19; 
president of Congress, 39; 
as a Whig, 39, 42. 

Harrison, Benjamin, on Yan- 
kees, 194. 

Harrod, James, settlement, 275. 

Henderson, Richard, Transyl* 
vania, 275, 276. 

Henry, Patrick, and Stamp 
Act, 14; call to arms, 59; 
on nationality, 178; urges 
alliances, 211; and Clark, 

Herkimer, Nicholas, Oriskany, 

Hobkirk Hill, battle, 324. 

Hopkinson, Francis, character, 

Howe, Richard, Lord, at New 
York, 102; conciliation, 103- 
105, 108-110; Newport, 292. 

Howe, Robert, Georgia cam- 
paign, 294. 

Howe, Sir William, joins Gage, 
32; evacuates Boston, 48; 
at New York, 102; Long 
Island, 105-108; New York 
City, 1 1 1 ; baffled at Haerlem, 



120; Fort Washington, 122; 
New Jersey campaign, 123- 
125, 129-131; plan (1777), 
158; Philadelphia campaign, 
162-164, 1 68-1 71; recalled, 
244; bibliography, 347 

Illinois colony, 272. 

Immigration, purpose, 333. 

Impressment of sailors, 59. 

Independence, existence in 
spirit, 5; John Adams's lead- 
ership, 42; growth of desire, 
50, 55-57; Paine's Common 
Sense, 62-65, instructions, 
66,69-78; steps towards, 69; 
state governments advised, 
71; formal proposal, 71; op- 
position, 72; delay, 72; effect 
of German mercenaries, 73; 
debated, 79-81; vote, 81; 
Declaration, 82-85; signing, 
85; reception, 86, 87; New 
York opposes, 91; accepts, 
9 5 ; and conciliation ,109,110, 
246; France recognizes, 224; 
effect in England, 229, 230, 
233; bibliography, 340-342. 

Indians, with Burgoyne, 159, 
164; with St. Leger, 166, 
167; frontier raids, 250, 279; 
cessions, 272, 275, 277; Dun- 
more's war, 274; Cherokee 
war (1776), 277; bibliography 
of raids, 349, 

Iroquois, with St. Leger, 166, 
167; treaty of Fort Stanwix, 

Izard, Ralph, envoy, 313. 

Jefferson, Thomas, character, 
82-84; drafts Declaration of 
Independence, 84, 85; com- 
missioner, 217. 

Johnson, Guy, loyalist, 249. 

Johnson, Sir John, with St, 
Leger, 166; loyalist, 249. 

Johnson, Thomas, urges inde- 
pendence, 77. 

Jones, Paul, exploits, 317, 318; 

bibliography, 352. 
Judiciary, admiralty trial, 18; 

powers of Congress, 190-192. 
Jury trial, right invaded, 18; 

protected, 147. 

Kalb, Baron de, Choiseul's 

agent, 204; volunteers, 216; 

in South, 300; killed, 301. 
Kentucky, settlement, 273- 

276; county of Virginia, 276; 

deserted, 280. See also 

King's Mountain, battle, 301, 

Knox, Henry, on militia, 119; 

on Trenton, 130. 
Kosciuszko , volunteers , 216; 

with Greene, 323. 

Lafayette, Marquis de, ser- 
vices, 216, 319; in Virginia, 
325; bibliography, 353. 

Laurens, Henry, envoy, 313; 
captured, 318. 

Lee, Arthur, and Beaumarchais, 
206-208; commissioner, 217, 


Lee, Charles, in army, 45; 
and defence of Charleston, 
78; intrigue, 122; esteemed, 
123; captured, 124; treason.. 
162; Monmouth, 245; bibli- 
ography, 346, 348. 

Lee, Henry, at Paulus Hool^ 
296; in Carolinas, 323. 

Lee, R. H., proposes inde- 
pendence, 71. 

Lee, William, envoy, 313. 

Lee, Fort, passed, 120; aban 
doned, 122. 

Lewis, Andrew, defeats Cora 
stalk, 275. 

Liberty sloop riot, 19. 

Lincoln, Benjamin, southern 
campaign, 294-297. 

Livingstons, Whigs, 88, 113. 

Local government, revolu- 



tionary committees, 23, 52; 
prevents anarchy, 52; self- 
government, 332. 

Long Island, battle, 105-10S; 
Whigs persecuted, 112; bibli- 
ography of battle, 346. 

Louis XVI., and Revolution, 

Loyalists, character, 28, 51; 
persecuted, 28, 29, 51, 91-94; 
unorganized, 29, 34; stand 
aloof, 35; lost opportunity, 
36; actions, 51; uprising in 
North Carolina, 68; disarmed, 
69; in Pennsylvania, 74; and 
independence, 87 ; develop- 
ment in New York, 88-91; 
plot against Washington, 94; 
refugees in New York City, 
112, 263; retaliate, 112; and 
New Jersey campaign, 126, 
132; services, 127, 128; snub- 
bed as recruits, 128, 249; 
and test laws, 152-156; with 
St. Leger, 166; and French 
alliance, 225, 226; raids, 248, 
253, 254; frontier attacks, 
249-251, 277, 293; in British 
army, 251; privateering, 252; 
mutual hate of Whigs, 254, 
255; grades of persecution, 
255; deprived of rights, 256- 
260; influence feared, 260; 
confined, 260; deported, 260- 
262; banished, 262; in Eng- 
land, 264; attainted, 265, 
266; fines and taxes, 266; 
confiscation of property, 267, 
268; treatment and democ- 
racy, 268; in South, 298, 
301; bibliography, 338-340. 

McCrea, Jane, murdered, 164. 
McDonald, Donald, and loyalist 

force, 68. 
McLean, Allan, loyalist, 249. 
Manufactures, restrictions, 8 ; 

developed, 243. 
Marion, Francis, partisan, 299. 

Martha's Vineyard plundered, 

Martin, Josiah, and Whigs, 67; 
flees, 68. 

Maryland, and Revolution, 76; 
and independence, 77; and 
western claims, 2 88. 

Mason, George, drafts bill of 
rights, 146. 

Massachusetts, and navigation 
acts, 10; circular letter, 18; 
committees of correspond- 
ence, 21; regulation acts, 23; 
calls Congress, 23; provincial 
congress, 24; temporary gov- 
ernment, 54; and indepen- 
dence, 70; constitution, 140- 
142; and loyalists, 262; west- 
ern claim, 287. See also 

Meschianza, 244. 

Minorca captured, 328. 

Mississippi River, free naviga- 
tion, 312. 

Mobile, Spanish capture, 286. 

Molasses Act enforced, 8. 

Monmouth, battle, 245; bibli- 
ography, 348. 

Montgomery, Richard, Cana- 
dian expedition, 46; killed, 

Moore's Creek, battle, 68. 

Morgan, Daniel, in Canada, 46; 
Cowpens, 323. 

Morris, Robert, financial efforts, 

Moultrie, William, defends 
Charleston, 78; at Port Royal 

Nashville settled, 274. 

Navigation acts, enforcement, 

Navy, privateering, 69, 190, 
252, 290; decline of British, 
96; importance, 289-291; 
Paul Jones, 317,318; bibliog- 
raphy, 352. 

Netherlands, war with Eng- 



land, 316, 318; and Paul 
Jones,. 317; St. Eustatius, 
320, 328. 

Neutrality, England's attitude, 
313; status (1776), 313; free 
ships, free goods, 313; Russia 
and Prussia, 314, 315; Armed 
Neutrality, 315, 318. 

New Bedford burned, 248. 

New Hampshire, temporary 
government, 55; and inde- 
pendence, 73. 

New Haven, Tryon's raid, 254. 

New Jersey, and independence, 
73; campaign (17 76-1 7 7 7), 
123, 124, 129-132; neutrals 
and loyalists 126-128, 132; 
constitution, 1 39 ; Monmouth, 
245; bibliography of cam- 
paign, 346. 

New York, loyalist, 36; and 
independence, 79, 91, 95; 
strategic importance, 79, 95; 
development of parties, 88- 
91; and stamp duties, 88; 
and tea tax, 89; election of 
congressional delegates, 89, 
90; convention, 90; provin- 
cial congress, 91; loyalists 
persecuted, 91-94, 115; cam- 
paign (1776), 93, 103, 105- 
108, III, 118-122; Whigs 
persecuted, 112, 115; Carle- 
ton's campaign, 116-118; 
western claim, 287; bibliog- 
raphy of campaign, 346. See 
also Burgoyne. 

New York City, army at, 93 ; 
British occupy, 1 1 1 ; loyalist 
sanctuary, 112, 263; expect- 
ed naval attack, 291, 293. 

Newcastle, Duke of, colonial 
policy, 5. 

Newport, occupied, 124; at- 
tacked (1778), 292; evacu- 
ated, 296; French army, 320. 

Newtown, battle, 250. 

Non - importation agreements, 
i9» 24. 

Norfolk burned, 61, 

North, Lord, conciliation meas- 
ures, 231-233, 236; fall, 328. 

North Carolina, and indepen- 
dence, 66, 69; Whigs and 
Martin, 67; provincial con- 
gress, 67; loyalist rising, 68; 
Moore's Creek, 68; and west- 
em settlements, 273, 276; 
campaign, 323, 324; bibliog- 
raphy of campaign, 350. 

Northwest. See West. 

Norwalk burned, 254. 

Office, term, 143; qualifica- 
tions, 150. 

Oriskany, battle, 166. 

Otis, James, on writs of assist- 
ance, 9. 

Paine, Tom, career and charac- 
ter, 61, 62, 65; Common 
Sense, 62-65; -^S^ ^f R^cison, 
65; Crisis, 129. 

Paper money, precedent, 240; 
congressional and state, 241, 
304; depreciation, 241, 304; 
derangement of finances, 241 ; 
speculation, 242; counter- 
feits, 242 ; forced on loyalists, 

Parker, Sir Peter, Charleston, 

77. 78. 

Paulus Hook captured, 296. 

Pennsylvania, and indepen- 
dence, 74, 75; revolutionary 
government, 75. See also 

Pensacola, Spanish capture, 286. 

Parliament, sovereignty, 9; im- 
perial taxation, 11; repre- 
sentation, 1 2-1 4 ; colonial.rep- 
resentation, 13; right to tax 
asserted, 17 ; basis of coercive 
acts, 20; acts against re- 
bellion, 58; conciliation, 231- 
233. See also England. 

Percy, Lord, occupies Newport. 



Peters, Samuel, on Whigs, 113. 

Petition, right, 144. 

Philadelphia, panic (1776) , 125 ; 
Howe's campaign (1777), 
162-164, 168- 171; as a 
capital, 169; British in, 244; 
evacuated, 245; bibliography 
of campaign, 347. 

Phillips, William, in Virginia, 

Pickens, Andrew, partisan, 299. 
Pitt, William, and Revolution, 

230, 231, 235; England's 

hope (1778), 233; and king, 

234; death, 235. 
Point Pleasant, battle, 275, 
Press, freedom, 146. 
Prevost, Augustine, Georgia 

campaign, 294; Charleston, 

294. 295. 
Prices, and paper money, 241 ; 

attempted regulation, 242. 
Primogeniture abolished, 148. 
Princeton, battle, 131; bibliog- 
raphy, 346. 
Privateering, authorized, 69 ; 

courts for, 190; loyalist, 252; 

damage, 290, 
Privileges of citizens under 

Confederation, 199. 
Public debt, foreign loans, 210, 

303; domestic loans, 303. 
Pulaski, volunteers, 216; killed, 

Putnam, Israel, joins army, 31 ; 

at Brooklyn Heights, 105; 

opposes Clinton, 173. 

Quakers, loyalist, 74, 
Quebec attacked, 46. 
Quebec act, 23, 270. 

Randolph, Peyton, in Con- 
gress, 3,9. 

Rawdon, Lord Francis, at Cam- 
den, 300; and Greene, 324. 

Religion, colonial privileges, 3; 
Quebec act, 23 ; phase of Revo- 
lution, 112-115; freedom, 1 46. 

Representation, and taxation, 
10-15, 147; English and 
colonial systems, 12-14; 
equal state, 184, 200. 

Requisitions, basis, 201; collec- 
tion, 303. 

Revolution, right, 149. 

Revolution, American, under- 
lying causes, 3-7; immediate 
causes, 7-24; outbreak, 24, 
27; Samuel Adams as factor, 
25-27 ; hope for united action, 
27? 3°! 34; elimination of 
opposition, 28, 29; social 
aspect, 28, 34, 35, 53; democ- 
racy, 53; as civil war, 87; 
importance of New York, 79, 
95; British plan (1776), 95; 
(1777), 157-159, 162, 168; 
real stay of the, 108 ; religious 
phase, 1 1 2-1 1 5 ; neutrals, 125- 
127, 244; Paine's Crisis, 129; 
development of manufact- 
ures, 243; change in charac- 
ter, 247, 248; border war- 
fare, 249-251, 277, 293; de- 
jection, 302-305; Arnold's 
treason , 305-308; result 
hinges on Europe, 309; de- 
pendence on Washington, 
327; effect of Yorktown, 
328; peace negotiations, 329; 
after Yorktown, 330; effect, 
330-333; general bibHog- 
raphy, 334-337; political 
bibliography, 337; military 
bibliography, 344-351. See 
also Army, Colonies, Com- 
merce, Conciliation, Con- 
federation, Continental Con- 
gress, England, Finances, 
France, Independence, Loyal- 
ists, Navy, Neutrality, Spain, 
States, Union, West, and 
battles, generals, and states 
by name. 

Rhode Island, Gaspee affair, 21 ; 
and independence, 70. See 
also Newport. 



Ridgefield, action, 162. 

Rights, natural, 145. See also 
Bill of Rights. 

Robertson, James, in West, 
273, 274; defeats Cherokee, 

Rochambeau, Comte de, at 
Newport, 320; Yorktown, 

Rockingham, Marquis of, min- 
istry, 16; on Franklin in 
France, 217. 

Rodney, Sir George, in West 
Indies, 319-321, 328. 

Rutledge, Edward, defends 
Charleston, 78; and Howie's 
conciliation, 108; on Articles 
of Confederation, 184; on 
Yankees, 194; Adams on, 

Rutledge, John Adams on, 197; 
patriotism, 295, 298. 

St. Clair, Arthur, Ticon- 
deroga, 159, 160. 

St. Eustatius, captured, 320; 
recaptured, 328. 

St. Joseph, Fort, Spanish capt- 
ure, 286. 

St. Leger, Barry, plan, 158; 
before Fort Stanwix, 166; 
Oriskany, 166; retreat, 167. 

Salaries, payment of colonial, 6, 

Saratoga convention, 173. See 
also Burgoyne. 

Savannah, captured, 294; 
American attack, 295. 

Schuyler, Philip, command, 
159, 160; intrigue against, 
161; withdraws , 164; re- 
moved, 171. 

Scotch -Irish frontier settlers, 

Sectional antagonism in Con- 
gress, 194. 

Separation of powers, 143. 

Sevier, John, defeats Cherokee, 

Sherman, Roger, Adams on, 

Social compact, 138. 

Social conditions, aspect of 
Revolution, 28, 34, 35, 53, 
1 1 2-1 15; growth of democ- 
racy, 137-148, 268, 332; 
speculation, 242; influence of 
frontier, 270. 

Sources, on Revolution, 335- 
337; on political problems, 
337; on loyalists, 338-340; 
on change in governments 
and independence, 340; on 
military events, 344-351; on 
army, 351; on diplomacy, 
353; on conditions in Eng- 
land, 354. 

South Carolina, and indepen- 
dence, 70, 78; attack on 
Charleston, 77, 78; cam- 
paign (1779)., 297; subjuga- 
tion, 297; Clinton's proc- 
lamation, 298; partisans, 
299; Camden, 300; King's 
Mountain, 302; Cowpens, 
323; Greene's campaign, 324; 
bibliography of campaigns, 


Southwest, Indian cessions, 272, 
275, 277; first settlements , 
273, 274; frontier govern- 
ment, 273, 275; Dunmore's 
war, 274; Transylvania, 276; 
Westsylvania, 277; Cherokee 
war, 277; Indian raids (1777), 
279. See also West. 

Sovereignty, opinions and ac- 
tions on state, 177-182, 187, 

Spain, and Revolution, 204, 
210, 214, 222, 223, 284, 309- 
312; loan, 210; and West, 
284-287; French alliance, 
311; besieges Gibraltar, 319, 
328; attempted invasion of 
England, 319; captures Mi- 
norca, 328. 

Speculation, 242. 



Speech, freedom, 146. 

Stamp Act, projected, 7; basis 
of opposition, 10— 14; method 
of opposition, 14, 15, 88; 
Congress, 15; repeal, 16. 

Stanwix, Fort, St. Leger's 
siege, 166, 167; treaty (1768), 

Stark, John, joins army, 31; 
Bennington, 165. 

States, Congress urges organiza- 
tion, 71; rise of democratic 
ideals, 136-139; constitution- 
al conventions, 139-142 ;pop- 
tilar control, 142; separation 
of powers, 143; term of 
office, 143 ; bill of rights, 146- 
149; restricted suffrage, 150; 
qualifications for office, 150; 
compromises, 151 ; allegiance, 
152-156; jealousy, 160; sov- 
ereignty, 177-182, 187, 279; 
paper money, 241; bibliog- 
raphy of constitutions, 342, 
343. See also Colonies, and 
states by name. 

Steuben, Baron von, volunteers, 
216; trains army, 238; in 
Virginia, 325. 

Stirling, Lord, Long Island, 

Stony Point, captured, 296; 
bibliography, 348. 

Stormont, Lord, and American 
agent, 213; and Franklin, 

Suffrage, English and colonial, 
12; restricted, 150. 

Sullivan, John, Long Island, 
106; sent to Congress, 108; 
Germantown, 170; expedi- 
tion, 250; Newport, 292. 

Sumter, Thomas, partisan, 299; 
captured, 301. 

Sunbury, captured, 294. 

Tarleton, Banastre, captures 

Sumter, 301; Cowpens, 323. 
Taxation, Stamp Act, 7, 10- 

17; and representation, 10- 
15, 147; parliamentary im- 
perial, II, 17; Townshend 
acts, 17-19; internal and 
external, 18; tea, 22. 

Tea tax retained, 19; resisted, 
22, 89. 

Temay, Chevalier de, at New- 
port, 320. 

Test laws, 152-156. 

Thomas, John, in Canada, 

Thomson, Charles, secretary of 
Congress, 190. 

Ticonderoga, captured (1775), 
40; Carleton before, 118; 
British capture, 159, 160. 

Tilghman, Matthew, urges in- 
dependence, 77. 

Tories. See Loyalists. 

Townshend, Charles, colonial 
taxation, 17. 

Townshend acts, 1 7 ; opposition, 
18, 19; repeal, 19. 

Transylvania, 275, 276. 

Treaties, French alliance and 
commercial (1778), 224-226, 
289; Fort Stanwix (1768), 
272; Paris (1783), 329. 

Trenton, battle, 130; effect, 131 ; 
bibliography, 346. 

Tryon, William, encourages 
loyalists, 94; raids in Con- 
necticut, 161, 254. 

Turgot, opposes Vergennes, 

Uniformity act in colonies, 

Union, Stamp Act Congress, 15 ; 
committees of correspond- 
ence, 21; effect of Boston 
Port bill, 23; common cause, 
30, 34; intercolonial jealousy, 
27,, 194, 195; an evolution, 
176-178, 182; problem, 183, 
199; diverse nationalities, 
195; and West, 284; in- 
fluence of Revolution, 331. 



See also Confederation, Con- 
tinental Congress, States. 

Valcour's Island, battle, 

Valley Forge, army at, 236- 
238; bibliography, 348. 

Vandalia, 272. 

Vergennes, Comte de, foreign 
minister, 204; American pol- 
icy, 204— 210, 310; secret aid, 
210-215; and Franklin, 218, 
220; urges war, 222. 

Vermont asks admission, 195. 

Vincennes, Clark's and Hamil- 
ton's expeditions, 281-284. 

Virginia, protest (1769), 19; 
non-importation, 19; Dun- 
more and Whigs, 59-61 ; con- 
vention, 59; Great Bridge 
and Norfolk, 61; constitu- 
tional convention, 71; and 
independence, 71; bill of 
rights, 146; primogeniture 
and entail abolished, 148; 
and Transylvania, 276; and 
Clark's expedition, 281; 
northwestern claim, 287; 
Yorktown campaign, 325- 

Walpole, Sir Robert, colonial 
policy, 5. 

Ward, Artemas, command, 31. 

Warner, Seth, Crown Point, 41 ; 
Bennington, 165. 

Warren, Joseph, influence, 30. 

Washington, George, command- 
er-in-chief, 42, 44; charac- 
ter, 42-44; keeps army to- 
gether, 46; trials before 
Boston, 47 ; on German mer- 
cenaries, 73; at New York, 
93; and loyalists, 94, 266; 
plot against, 94; and Lord 
Howe, 104; Long Island, 105- 
108; at Haerlem, 118, 120; 
and condition of army, 118- 

120, 128, 133-135. 237; at 
North Castle, 121; and Fort 
Washington, 121; and 
Charles Lee, 122; retreat 
across New Jersey, 123; 
despondent, 128, 302; Tren- 
ton, 130; Princeton, 131; 
Philadelphia campaign, 162- 
164, 169-171; dictatorial 
powers, 169; intrigue against, 
236; Monmouth, 245; on 
need of navy, 289; and 
Arnold, 306-308; Yorktown, 
325-327 ; leadership, 327, 331 ; 
bibliography, 334, 337. 

Washington, William, in Caro- 
linas, 323. 

Washington, Fort, passed, 120; 
captured, 122. 

Watauga settlement, 273; Ind- 
ian war, 277. 

Wayne, Anthony, Stony Point, 

West, Quebec act, 23, 270; 
confederate control, 201, 278, 
279; first movements tow- 
ard, 270, 271; England's 
hold, 270; advantage of pos- 
session, 271, 284; proclama- 
tion line, 271; British at- 
titude toward settlement, 
272; Illinois colony, 272; 
Vandalia, 272; motive of 
settlement, 272; Clark's con- 
quest, 280-283; French 
settlers, 280; effect of con- 
quest, 284; Spain and Eng- 
land, policy and action, 284- 
287; state claims, 287; bibli- 
ography, 348-350. See also 

West Indies, engagements, 293, 
319-321, 328. 

Westsylvania, 277. 

Whigs. See Loyalists. 

White Plains, battle, 121. 

Wilson, James, opposes inde- 
pendence, 72; on representa- 
tion, 200. 



Witherspoon, John, on repre- 
sentation, 200. 

Wright, Sir James, reinstated, 

Writs of assistance, 9 ; legalized, 
18: forbidden, 147. 

Wyoming Valley, controversy, 
195; massacre, 250. 

YoRKTOWN, campaign, 325- 
327; effect, 328; bibliography, 

END OF VOL. or.. 



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